I’m currently reading each chapter and then feeding them through grammar checker, Prowritingaid.com. This removes unintended repetitions, weak verbs, and many of other small errors the eye misses when reading from the screen. It’s a fairly intense process. So far, I’m at page 165 of 412 in a Word doc that’s double spaced.
After that check, I’m printing off each chapter and passing it to my independent reader, who’s finding inconsistencies, confusions, occasional homophonic substitutions, the odd grammatical fail and anything else she feels worth mentioning. So, far, these have been mercifully few. Mind you, this is the 2nd in a series and she gave me a slight heart attack when she asked if one of the pivotal characters had been killed off in book 1! She was right about exactly that in my fantasy trilogy, ‘A Seared Sky’, so I felt I’d better check. Fortunately, this time, I was okay. The character was still alive at the end of book 1.
I then put right those things she points out that I agree with.
Last stage is to read the whole book, aloud, from print, not screen. That identifies awkward sentences and tonal inconsistencies. And, of course, I need to come up with a good title: the working title doesn’t really do it for me. A bit of brainstorming should sort that!
Then it’s off to my publisher, who’s currently gnashing his teeth with impatience, as he wants to launch the book at Fantasticon 2017. This annual event in Hull, this year’s UK City of Culture, takes place on September 2nd and 3rd. It’s a celebration of science fiction, fantasy and gaming.
I’ll be there. Maybe you’ll pop along, too!