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Accountability Post 2021 Week 48

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 48

Is the third time the charm? After forecasting that I could finish Book 2 in my accountability posts for week 45, week 46, and week 47, can I finally report that I finished? Well, instead of trying to artificially generate drama, let me just say this up front: the first draft of Book 2 is complete! The draft hit 191,489 words.

What’s next? First, I ran into a major snag with titles. As in, I shared the titles for the first three books with a focus group, and it did not generate positive buzz. Second, it’s now time to incorporate the developmental editor’s feedback into the current draft of Book 1. Of course, it’s not going as easily as I had hoped, but that was entirely entirely expected.

Since you know Book 2’s first draft is done, let me show you the progress I’ve made editing Book 1.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 48 By the Numbers

The effort to incorporate the developmental editor’s line edits are underway!

I finished Book 2’s first draft on November 24, 2021. I got a slow start on editing Book 1 on November 27, 2021 because the MacBook Pro I used for writing novels didn’t have Word installed. Fortunately, I have the Microsoft family plan, and I had two licenses left to use. So, that only cost me a little time.

The bigger problem, though, was that my MacBook Pro has the thirteen inch screen. I use a Dell UltraSharp twenty-seven inch screen as my main monitor. It’s a good, reliable monitor. It used to be my gaming monitor. Unfortunately, by the end of editing on the 27th, my eyes were exhausted. The reason was simple. Frustrating, too.

I’ve used the Dell UltraSharp for writing. That means I’ve had to read very little on it. That might sound odd, so please let me explain. I don’t need to pay strict attention to the screen while I’m writing. Only occasionally do I need to look closely to see how I misspelled a word. But overall, my eyes just skim.

For editing work, my eyes get a much harder workout. I edit anime blog posts on my iMac with its twenty-seven inch 5K Retina display. I’m surprised to say this, but that makes all the difference in the world. I can edit for six or eight hours on that Retina display without fatigue. Two hours on the UltraSharp, though, and my eyes are practically watering. The edit’s underway, but it’s off to a stumbling start.

Tragedy in the Title Arena

Feedback from the sample group dashed my hopes for the titles of the first three novels. The series title is Evolution’s Hand. That actually got some good feedback. But the individual books? Not so much. Here was my original plan for books 1 through 3:

  • 61 Cygni
  • Epsilon Eridani
  • Sirius

The expert I consulted suggested I look at the titles of some of my favorite science fiction novels. Examples include:

That’s a small sampling, but it supports the point my expert was trying to make. The titles I had chosen don’t evoke any feeling. But words like “Constitution” and “Columbus Day” are lively. They stir emotions.

My titles? It’s not even clear if they’re science fiction or science fact. So back to the drawing board on titles. I can’t drag my feet on this. I need to select covers soon. Kinda hard to have a cover with no title!

More Editing Challenges

I talked about the differences between a Dell UltraSharp with its solid quality and an Apple 5K Retina display. The impact was a lot more than I had expected. I’m pretty sure I can overcome that. The bigger issue revolves around which version of Book 1 is the real version. That is to say, which is the definitive version? Which version will I use to generate the eBook?

I consider the Scrivener version to be the real version. However, all of the developmental editor’s markup is in the Word document version. So, I either go through that copy, accepting or rejecting each change, until I’m through, and then that becomes the definitive version. Or, I consider each change and incorporate it into Scrivener’s version.

But wait, some of you may say. Why not mix the two? Why not accept/reject the changes in Word, then copy/paste back into Scrivener? There are two reasons I don’t want to do that. First, I’ve had uneven experience copying from Word into Scrivener. It works most of the time, but I’m overly sensitive to that because multiple times over the last twenty years, copying from Word into other programs cost me hours of extra work. Mostly, I had to remove extraneous formatting. It’s better now, but I am just not comfortable doing it.

All of my background material is in Scrivener. Even if I move to Word, I’d still have to refer to the material in Scrivener.

The second reason is that hand editing helps me pay closer attention. It helps me catch issues that the developmental editor didn’t see. I expected that, because I paid for a developmental edit. The line edits were an unexpected and welcomed bonus.

My decision point, then, is whether Word or Scrivener will become the definitive version. I’m not sure what I’ll do in the long term, but for now, I’m going to move them into Scrivener and consider that version to the the One True Version.

Goals for the Week in Accountability Post 2021 Week 48

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week:

  1. Incorporate feedback through chapter 45
  2. Continue background work on the short story that’ll be the mailing list’s lead magnet

It’s probably going to take through mid December to get the edit done. I’ll refine that estimate after I edit for a few more days.

What Do You Think?

Have you had to swap between Scrivener (or other tool) and Word? What did you end up doing and why? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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