Hey all. It’s been a busy old week here.
I decided to give my two novels another going over, and boy am I glad that I did. Editing / proofing are not nearly as much fun as the actual writing bit, but are just as important. The Rise of the Dominion is 85,000 words long and The Portal is 90,000 words, so over the last week I went over 175,000 words and boy does it make you appreciate how much effort goes into writing a novel.
The reason why I went over them again is that I recently purchased a fabulous proofing tool called ProWritingAid – I highly recommend it. It helped me catch so many grammatical issues (commas, argh!), and not only that it also recommends changes that help improve readability. It also helped me realise how often I write inverted sentences, and how much better the words flow when corrected. An example of this would be:
Jason ducked beneath the man’s punch, having noticed him draw back his arm in preparation to strike.
This reads much better as:
Jason noticed the man draw back his arm in preparation to strike and so easily ducked beneath the punch.
Not the best example, but you get the point. I would focus on the result and then have to explain the lead up or reasoning, rather than lead the reader to the result. I’m much happier with the stories now that I’ve been able to go through them and correct these sentences (although, not all of them – variety is the spice of life, after all!).
One thing that I don’t like about ProWritingAid, however is that it encourages changes that presumably it encourages to all of its users, meaning that there could easily be a tendency for writers to all end up more similar to each other than if they didn’t use the software. In light of that, I tried to ignore suggestions for changes of words such a large, quickly and smiled. Of course, it helps seeing these words highlighted and if they were used to frequently in a passage then I would change them, just not many of them and certainly not all of them. In other words, don’t agree to all of its suggestions – keep your voice. Use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility.
I also spotted a few structural issues. For instance, in The Portal a character betrays his side by giving information to the other side (trying to be vague here to avoid spoilers) but not only do the other side act on that information before it’s actually been provided but it also is used to send them to the wrong location. What a mistaka to makea. Not fixed that yet but it’s next on the list. I also decided to change a character’s gender and then missed converting the he’s to she’s in many locations. Oops. Poor Sord. Hopefully s/he forgives me.
Once that’s done I’m going to unpublish them from Amazon, give The Rise of the Dominion a facelift (new cover) and the work on a release plan for them both. I’ll keep you updated.