You know you're down to the final stages of editing when you're obsessing over things like capitalization of bird names (Do I go with the dictionary method or the ornithological method?), the frequency with which certain words or phrases appear in the text, and how to cut at least one more incidence of "he said." (I like to avoid dialogue attributions if at all possible.)
I've also been reading the book backward--starting with the last chapter and working my way to the front. This is a good strategy in the latter stages of editing and proofing, because, typically, the first chapters are the most polished and receive the most attention, seeing as most editing passes start at the front and work toward the end, which means, unless I do it in stages, by the time I reach the final chapters, I'm not nearly as sharp as I was when I started.
There's also the fear of introducing new errors in the process of making revisions, so I tend to operate in a constant state of paranoia at this stage, checking and double checking each change before I move on to the next.
This is also where a second and third pair of eyes comes in handy. At present, those belong to my wife and my oldest daughter, Gretchen (15), an avid reader. I'm currently awaiting her second read before I finally put a bow on this book--hopefully by the end of this week. Stay tuned!
After doing a final edit and running the manuscript through three spellcheckers--during which I realized I had misspelled "Saskatchewan" on the back cover!--Unlimited is finally off to the printer. The next step is to do a final review of a physical copy of the book. Once that's done, we'll be in business. With any luck, the book will be available within the next three weeks. Excited!
SLOWLY working my way through my second edit of Unlimited. My strategy is to read a couple of chapters out loud to my son, Zeph, each night, making notes as I go. It's amazing what you discover about your writing by doing that. Zeph loves the story. So does Gretchen, who has already read it and given her notes. Then it's on to my wife, Heidi. One more final pass from me after that, and it's time to do the typesetting. Exciting!
Plus, I'm already developing the story for book three in the Milligan Creek series, which I'm calling The Water War. More on that one soon!
After completing my first draft right before going on vacation--to Saskatchewan, no less--in late June, I have just completed my second major draft of the book and have just sent it out to my beta readers--my wife and four children--for review. The cover is nearly complete, so once I get their notes back, I'll do one more pass and then proceed to layout. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, this book should be ready to release by the end of August. I couldn't be more excited.
When I was but a wee lad, probably about nine or ten years old, a distant relative pulled into our farmyard with a helicopter fuselage on a flatbed trailer. It was an exciting moment for all of us, having never seen a helicopter up close before. I was just at a family reunion in Saskatchewan when I found a picture of it. It was cool timing, seeing as that moment actually inspired an aspect of Unlimited, which I had just finished writing.
Just received this nifty award along with a cash prize for Up the Creek!, the first novel in the Milligan Creek series. Pretty cool!
I had a chance to visit the Foam Lake Heritage Marsh last week and thought you'd like a look at the place that first planted the seeds of "Unlimited" in my mind.
I couldn't be more excited to announce that I've just finished my first draft of Unlimited, book two in the Milligan Creek series. In case you haven't heard, in this book, Matt, Chad, Andrew, and Dean--with a little help from Matt and Chad's older sister, Joyce--launch their own pirate radio station and soon find themselves piling up just as many foes as fans.
Now that the draft is finished, I need to do an edit, a polish, and a proof, and then it's off to layout and design. All that should be complete by the end of August, with the book ready to launch as soon as the new school year begins. I've already given you a sneak peek of the cover creation process, but here's one more look.
This is where it all begins, folks, with a rough sketch from my amazing artist, Kierston Vande Kraats.
Actually, it began a bit before that with my own sketch, which I sent to Kierston for reference. See why I pay her the big bucks?
Stay tuned for more updates!