Yesterday was the big, final push for getting The Corridors of the Dead out the door, at long last. The last three days of editing became either a mad dash, or a game of whack-a-mole, depending on how you look at things. I had originally set yesterday as a hard deadline, given the amount of time needed to get the paper proof back and declare myself ready to start taking pre-orders. This was a line in the sand that I set way back when I decided to self-publish: I would not take pre-orders without knowing that the print book was of the highest quality that I could offer. Unfortunately, with having to push the date out from November the 18th back in September, I knew that I was only going to have a window of a few days to offer them. This meant that I was going to have to get everything together by the 22nd at the very latest, with Thanksgiving as my sworn enemy.
I made it, but by the skin of my teeth. This is where the game of whack-a-mole pops up. As I entered my editor’s changes and then finished up my own changes, including a few tweaks to the ending to make it a bit more comprehensible, I saw little things that bothered me. I’ve mentioned before that I maintained a list of “weak words”, and that I wasn’t able to weed them all out before sending the text on to my editor. Well, they came back the last two days with a vengeance. I even ended up adding more as I realized that those words indicated a structural weakness in a given sentence. By the end, my global list of search-and-replace words had grown to 87 words. Remember my last blog entry on the subject, with seven deadly words? Well, there’s a sequel coming.
Surprisingly, that took up the bulk of my time over the last few days. Oh, sure, the last set of self-edits, including that new ending, were the most taxing, but that search-and-replace was the real workhorse of the whole thing. Still, you would be amazed at the changes that I saw in my work, growing day-after-day. I debated whether I would show them here, but I’d really rather not reveal some of my weaknesses. At least, not yet anyway. I’m contemplating a more “interactive” view of my editing process for Room 3, but that’s a bit off in the future.
Anyway, all of that is done now, and I have a reasonable template for how the next book will proceed. That is truly the greatest thing about doing all of this now. While the growing pains have been exceptional, and no doubt of that, I’ve learned so much. I have no doubt that I’ll be in a whole different place when I finish the next book.
And for now, I promised myself a vacation day today, so I’m off to enjoy it. To my friends in America, have a great Thanksgiving. To everyone else, have a great Thursday, and I’ll see you on Friday.