As you may remember from a previous post, I was hard at work during the month of April writing the sequel to Imminent Danger, which is currently titled Chasing Nonconformity. Once the first draft was complete, I set it aside for a few months and … HA. As if. Nah, I set it aside for about a week, couldn’t wait any longer, and had an editing spree over the last few days in which I edited the whole darn thing. And now it’s edited! Huzzah!
Well, edited in the sense that I went through it and fixed all the problems I could find — which, in no particular order, were:
- Exchanging en dashes (the short dashes) for em dashes (the long dashes)
- Making sure my protagonist, Eris, didn’t come off as whiny and annoying (good news: if she did before, she no longer does! I hope …)
- Making sure Grashk, the six-armed lizard man, didn’t come off as too angry and violent (bad news: he’s still pretty violent, but now it’s in a “playful” way, if that makes any sense)
- Making sure Miguri, the tiny old wise alien, doesn’t speak with contractions
- Making sure the plot actually makes sense
The last point is probably the most important one, and I think I did a fair job at it. Only time will tell, however. I have officially sent off this draft to my ALPHA SQUADRON (trademark pending), which is a fancy and entirely made-up-on-the-spot way of saying “my beta readers”. They are, in no particular order (with names changed/omitted to preserve their identities):
- My mother — editor extraordinaire, famous for not wanting to read Imminent Danger because “I was afraid it would be bad”. Thanks, Mom. Approximate read/review time: 1-3 months.
- My brother — master of logic and tactics. He’s excellent at tearing apart my admittedly sketchy logic and returning comments to me along the lines of “Why did they do X when Y is so much easier?” To which I reply “Because plot, dammit.” Approximate read/review time: 3 days.
- My best friend — awesome, super supportive, and has no problem informing me when my protagonist gets so whiny about her hair that she (my BFF) felt like tearing out her own hair. Approximate read/review time: 1 month.
- My writing compatriot — friend of many years, architect of many DnD campaigns, and excellent reader/editor/reviewer/wiki-creator/fanfiction writer. Approximate read/review time: 3 weeks.
Once these four kind souls are finished tearing apart my manuscript, it will return to me so I can fix/ignore the issues they raise. After that … I’m torn. Traditionally it would go to another round of beta readers, but I’m thinking it might be a good call to do the Mother/Daughter patented “Cutting the Manuscript Down to Size” (CtMDtS — or, “Count Doctor teaspoon”) big screen editing session first. To see a recording of one of our CtMDts sessions for Imminent Danger, click here.
So … thoughts? Beta readers or CtMDts session first?
Unrelated media of the day:
I can’t stop listening to this song. I don’t even know why. It’s not that good. It’s just so … odd.