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Progress Report 2022 Week 40

Last week was supposed to be all about two things: getting Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath ready for publication, and getting Book 3: Primary Target ready for beta readers. Did I decide to use MacOS accessibility tools to read all of Dying Breath back to me? Did I learn anything helpful about ProWritingAid? Plus, I’m going to reveal the cover of Dying Breath!

Let’s look at the numbers first.

Progress Report 2022 Week 40 By the Numbers

The audio/accessibility tools pass is done? How did I have time for that?

Regarding the audio pass: I discovered something about Dying Breath, and it might apply to my other novels, too. My first couple of chapters have a higher suck-factor than later chapters! When MacOS read the first chapter to me, I felt aghast. It sounded dreadful! I honestly wondered if somehow I had accidentally mangled the chapter. But no. There was nothing accidental about it!

I reworked it until it sounded smoother. Then, with a heavy heart, I started the second chapter. I figured if they were all that bad, I was doomed! I didn’t even see how I was going to hit the December 1, 2022 publication date.

But chapter two sounded better, and chapter three sounded even better. Chapter four sounded as good as anything I write gets. So, I decided to do an audio review of the first four chapters. I think the book is ready. For the record, here’s what I put Dying Breath through:

  1. Rough draft
  2. Second draft
  3. ProWritingAid (Realtime checks)
  4. Beta read (including incorporating results based on beta reader feedback)
  5. Third draft
  6. Proofread edit
  7. Audio check for first four chapters

That seemed to work well. I’ll use that as the model for Primary Target, with one minor change. Which brings me to ProWritingAid.

Wringing More Help Out Of ProWritingAid

I like ProWritingAid. In a material, measurable way, it made my manuscript better. Something nagged at me, though. The proofreader found several occasions where I had repeated words, like “the the.” I felt certain that ProWritingAid should have caught that. As I mentioned last week, I wondered if I had missed a nuance of the program’s interface. Now, I’m almost certain of it.

ProWritingAid’s default mode seems to be “Realtime.” As soon as it loads, it checks the manuscript. In about eighty percent of the cases, I’ll accept its recommendation. There are other cases where I don’t. For example, in the world of my novels, business terms have become proper nouns: executive became Executive and board became Board. I didn’t want to turn off the capitalization rule off, because I wanted to catch improper capitalization.

Running both a Realtime and a Grammar pass helped me fix more errors.

ProWritingAid has other modes. I decided to not only look at the manuscript through the “Realtime” checks, but also through the “Grammar” check. I think Realtime includes Grammar. But remember how I said that I had to leave some things marked in Realtime? I think ignoring those made my eyes miss the small number of Grammar-based flags.

Switching to a focused Grammar check helped my eyes catch those errors. And yes, they included errors like “the the.” I performed both a Realtime and Grammar check on Primary Target. On average, that helped me see an additional three or four corrections per chapter. The beta readers and eventually the proofreader for Primary Target should have to contend with fewer stupid errors!

Cover Reveal for Dying Breath!

I’m excited to reveal the cover for Evolution’s Hand Book 2: Dying Breath!

I’m very happy with how the cover looks!

I hired Jesh Art Studio through Fiverr again. I could not be happier with the results! The package was reasonably priced, and it included an Ebook cover, an audio book cover, and the original Photoshop working files.

What do you think?

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2022 Week 40

Since I hit all of my goals last week, I get to start fresh! Here’re my new goals:

  1. Refresh my memory of how to prepare the Ebook using Kindle Create (for Amazon) and Draft2Digital (for everyone else). Then document those steps.
  2. Refresh my memory on using the Amazon’s Microsoft Word templates that will become the paperback. Document those steps, too.
  3. Continue pre-production planning for Book 4: Blind Exodus. The focus this week will be on the meta-arc that underpins the next three books.
  4. Stretch objective: Begin plot braiding for Blind Exodus.

I’m anxious to get started on Blind Exodus. I’m feeling the psychological effects of not creating!

What Do You Think?

Do you use ProWritingAid or something else? How do you integrate these tools into your workflow? I’d love to hear about your experience! Feel free to share in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Progress Report 2022 Week 40

  1. The new book cover looks great. I’d love to see book one and two together in a promo image.

    I use Grammarly and Word’s spellchecker, plus I have some tools that I built to check for over use of words, consecutive sentences starting with the same word, and other stuff like that. They don’t always need changing, but it’s nice to have it flagged to make a decision either way.

    1. That’s a good idea! I’ll try to include an ad with both images to see how it does.
      I considered Grammarly, and honest, I haven’t completely ruled it out. I want to drive down the number of typos without breaking the bank. I agree with the idea that some of the stuff doesn’t need changing — but forcing a second look is helpful in and of itself.

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