Sailor Moon Book Update 4-5-2016!

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr)

So where are we with the Sailor Moon Book?

Editing the hell out of it.

So right now, Bonnie and I are in the final editing run before it goes to editor.  I just finished mine, and it’s her turn now.  We’re doing these as separate runs as it’s a lot easier.

Our big issue is actually chapter structure, and we found that there’s really two kinds of chapters in this book (and one or two that are fusions).  Some are narratives, others are lists.  The former look at a common story or pattern in fan’s lives, the other is about related phenomena that aren’t necessarily linear.  The show’s “wow” impact is a narrative, the impact on hobbies and careers is about non-linear phenomena.  Now that we see this I think we can sort out the structure of the one or two troublesome chapters.

After this at the end of the month, the book gets wrapped up into a prepublishing document.  Essentially its a document ready to publish – sans page-break formatting – that goes to the editor.  Then it goes to the editor (and contributors).  That’s a two-month process, though we’ll see how it goes as I wouldn’t be surprised if this editor gets through it quick – it’s not a huge book.

We’ll then take a month or so to integrate the edits and get ready to publish.  We’re still targeting September.

I will be speaking at Kraken-Con and hope to speak at Fanime with Bonnie as well!  We’ll be revealing more as we head towards publishing.

– Steve

Way With Worlds Update 4-4-2016!

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, www.SeventhSanctum.com, and Steve’s Tumblr)

Been awhile since a Way With Worlds Update!  So let’s find out where we are on my essays-rewritten-and-now-a-book on worldbuilding.

First, there’s a web page for the first book that gives you some idea of what I’m up to.  You can also see the sample cover art – and you’re going to love the final cover!

I also got the book back from my editor.  My editor is a “word of God type editor” – when it’s edited it’s done.  So I spent an entire day going through her edits for the first book.  After about ten hours of work, I have a book that is mostly ready for publication.  One more read through and it’s ready for publishing (which itself is going to take a few months).

This brings up a really good lessons – there are several kinds of editors and you have to know how to work with them.  Some are like a friendly guide with advice.  Others are the Word Of God.  Yet others are instructional.  Each is different and you have to figure which works for you, your works, and your goals.

For instance, these books, though being creative and chatty are instructional.  I needed a Word Of God editor on them.

On the other hand, some of my more intimate career books need a lighter touch as an editor.  They’re chatty and friendly.

My upcoming Sailor Moon book has yet a different editor, a fansourced editor with an academic background and a fandom background, which seems perfect.

Now there’s also been a few schedule changes, so let’s recap!

  • The First Book is out end of July as planned.
  • The Second Book is out the end of October.  It was originally August, but between the editor’s needs, my schedule, and the fact it’s damn stupid to put a sequel out a month later.
  • After that is still a special surprise.  Stay tuned.

I think you folks are going to love the books.  It’s really my near-final word on Worldbuilding, and there’s a wealth of worldbuilding advice.

– Steve

How I Write #6: The Editing

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, www.SeventhSanctum.com, and Steve’s Tumblr)

All right, so where are we in this extended discussion of how I write my books?  We just covered how I edit my wordspew and it’s time to talk editing.

After revising and revising and revising, my book is eventually “good enough” to be edited. By good enough I usually mean a mix of “this is good” and “oh god I’m sick of this, I’m gonna stop now.”  The latter is usually more prominent than I’d like, but anyway I’m at least at a stopping point.

When I refer to as editing, there’s sort of two kinds I lump under “Editing” because they’re really intertwined.

  • Pre-Readers – People who read the book for content.
  • Editors – The person or person that goes through the book and makes sure it’s got proper grammar, spelling, etc.  They also comment on content.

Before I go into how I do this, there are times I don’t do any editing beyond my own writing. At least in the past. Let’s take a look at that, if only for confessional purposes.

Let me repeat – this is when I don’t have others edit.  I still edit the hell out of my own work, even if poorly.

When You Don’t Use Other People To Edit

So first of all, I don’t think you should avoid having your work edited. If at all possible, someone should at least pre-read it. However there’s a few cases I can see someone not editing, which I’ve done or at least think I did:

  • The work is small, say a 99 cent ebook.
  • No one’s available to edit/pre-read and you want to get something out.
  • You’ve edited it really, really well.
  • The document seems tolerable.
  • You’ve got the kind of document (and knowledge) where the editing is easy.  A small work that’s an organized guide that follows an easily checkable pattern, and one you’ve run spellcheck/grammar check on multiple times is a good instance.

I’ve done two published works this way (and hope to revise them with editors and pre-readers when I can). It can work.

But I don’t recommend it. But hey, I gave you an out, and you can always say “but Steve said.”

Now anyway, on with editing.

Pre-Reading

I didn’t always use pre-readers – originally I only did when a book had a lot of interviews and I used them as pre-readers. In time I found that pre-readers were invaluable for insights.

See, a pre-reader isn’t an editor in the traditional/specific sense and that’s good. A pre-reader is a reader. They are not there to edit a book for language and punctuation, even when they do because they can’t resist. They’re they’re for content and flow.

They’ll catch things an editor won’t because an editor, no matter how much they read, is still editing. You really do need both.  Plus it takes a little pressure off your editor –  “Can you edit my terrible abuses on language and tell me if this meticulous battle scene makes sense?”

Secondly, a good pre-reader thinking as a reader can give you feedback on your book to help it become a better book.  They can tell you how it can be more consistent, better organized, and so on.  In turn it won’t just be a better book – that will make the book a hell of a lot easier on an editor. A book that reads easy, even with flaws, allows an editor to go to town as opposed to being stopped by confusing twists or ill-explained concepts on top of Oxford comma arguments?

How do I handle pre-readers?

  • I pretty much put out a call among people. I’ve started keeping a list of people to send things too now.
  • I give them 1-3 months depending on the size of the work.
  • I integrte feedback as it comes in more or less. For small works I may wait – for larger works i put in the feedback as soon as I get it.

Thats about it. Find, send, wait, integrate.

After the pre-reader feedback I usually do another pass through the book. then it’s off to the editor

The Editor

First of all when you get something edited to publish professionally, make sure they’re professional.

That may not mean they’re a professional editor. It means they have professional-quality skills relevant to what you’re doing. It could be from writing their own novels, it could be editing fanfic for ten years, it could be an experienced technical writer. Just get someone who can edit for what you’re doing.

I like to fansource, finding editors through fandom and geeky connections. They “get” me, I often get a break on price, they get their name on a book they like, I act as a reference, everyone wins.

I usually give an editor 1-3 months depending on the complexity of the work and their schedule. It also gives me a nice break, and sometimes while waiting I do extra formatting or setup for publishing.  Or write another book.

When I get the edited document back, I don’t use that document to make the final book – I read through it, page by page, integrating comments and changes into a new copy master document. That forces me to read and pay attention, and makes sure I don’t end up with a book laden with things I forgot to address, remove, or change.

This part usually takes at least a month. My goal, when it’s done, is to have it done.

The Final Read

So once that editing run is done, I do one more spellcheck and grammar check, and read through the book (yes, again). If I find any errors, I fix them – and run that check again.

At this point, having done so much editing, I use that previous trick of reading parts out of order just to keep myself fresh.

My approach is to read it through.  If anything changes in the small I fix it and re-read that chapter.  If there’s any large change, I re-read the book from the start, or at least skim.  I’m done when I do a pass through and didn’t change anything.

Then it’s one more spelling/grammar check.  Then it’s done

Onward To Publishing

So with the book edited – pre-read and edited properly – and with my final read-through’s its done. Ready to go.

It’s time to publish.

 

– Steve