I woke up this morning to high winds gusting and howling madly outside. Our temperatures have been all over the place (normal for this patch of the Washington DC area). We hit the 60s during the week, and it’s in the 50s now. But that wind… the 30s.
Continuity edit/copy edits are back. Some lessons I’ve learned from it already:
- My copy editing rounds cut the typos she found waaaaayyy down. I ran Microsoft Word for spell check and repeated words. Then I hit Grammarly for the commas. Then I hit ProWritingAid, both the RealTime Report and the Overused Report. A lot of changes there. It flagged passive voice and words or types of words I overused (only three types. That’s a big improvement for me). Then I ran PerfectIt and read through the entire story for typos. Copy editing produced a few more typos, mostly missing articles nothing picked up, and a few places where I wasn’t as clear as I needed to be.
- The above round also showed me where I was using British variations of some words and had no idea I was. Those words are part of common use. So I plugged those into my AutoCorrect in Microsoft Word so I don’t have to catch those in the future.
- I probably need to attempt the reverse outline for Dice Ford 2. There were continuity errors that I might have been able to correct if I had that. Some numbering agreements, part of a setting changed, stuff like that. At the point where the setting issue occurred, it was so far at the end I didn’t circle back to read what I had. That’s likely where most of my work will be, making sure those two scenes sync up.
- The story bible the editor built for me will be a big help. I managed to spell three different characters’ names two different ways. Sigh.
- The character part of the story bible identified places where I’m still writing the descriptions thin. So I’ll be circling back through another cycling pass to add those details. Since I know there’s a problem there, I’ll tag those areas for attention in Dice Ford 2.
- I nailed the timeline! The continuity editor said a lot of writers tended to jam too much in one day (which I’ve done in the past). For Superhero Portal, I wrote notes to myself at the top of the page with the timeline. I’d put Friday, the time of day, and the duration of the scene. Those came out later, but they were to force me to think about what was happening and to include the weekend. Dice is a working woman, after all, so she has weekends. The only place I have to fix was towards the end and a cycling adjustment where I didn’t quite nail that down.
None of this is a major change. The biggest is that setting issue since it will involve removing the rocketship I put in and inserting a castle and adjusting the action around that. Everything else is a sentence insertion.
I’m also doing some refreshes since none of my older stories have my current newsletter link in them. A lesson learned here, too: I’m labeling the template so I know what I need to update in the future. I’m thinking about ways to cut down on the errors on this. I’ve found one where I updated the cover on Draft to Digital and Smashwords and didn’t do it on Amazon or my website. Another wasn’t even on the site. So I’m checking through everything to verify, verify, verify.
Write Like a Pulp Writer: Lessons from Writing a Short Story a Week for a Year is available for preorder (still populating vendors, so if you don’t see yours, wait a day or two). This will be out on December 27.