Feedback-based edits retrospective

Today, I’m coming with a bit of retrospective related to the first edit pass done based on external feedback. Unlike my own edit passes, it had some new aspects to it – and new challenges.

Obviously, the main difference was that I was juggling several files: the main file, the feedback files, my own notes… I did not think that much about it but it seems the constant need to Alt-Tab has made some impact. At this time, I’ve read through the first half. The first 10 chapters had way more errors than the following 20. That by itself might not mean much, but…

… the main mistakes were commas misplaced by one word, leftover words from edits (when I was rewriting a part of sentence but not deleted it comepletely, leaving one or two ‘relics’ behind) or missing words (same as before but deleting too much). I and my beta eventually made some adjustments to the way we worked and I got used to actually juggling more files so that’s why it’s much better after the first 10 chapters.

I’ve also realized once again that nothing is ever foolproof. Even though my beta was good at pointing out these things, I’ve still found several cases of missing commas (even Oxford comma, something he was quite thorough on) and several typos – but it’s hard to guess which were overlooked by us and which were created by fixing old ones.

What also affected the result was the fact I made significant changes to the first three or four chapters just before he got the file which means these were in a bit worse state.

I hope to go through the rest of text myself shortly and get a move on it – there are scenes I’ve rewritten after receiving his feedback or by my own ideas sparkled by the feedback, as well as some of my own ideas. Many of those rewritten scenes were not through any checks yet so those are where I need to pay the most attention to make sure they are in decent shape for the next stage.

Since I am a bad judge of these things, I won’t share any real guess when I might be done with the next pass and ready for the next stage but the Easter seem a good target. Then, I’ll probably try to find another victim helpful person as a second-stage beta to see how ready (or not) my story is for sharing with the world. It might be somewhen during this phase I’d finally start looking for an affordable cover designer.

So, to wrap this up: making my first set of feedback-based edits brought some new challenges but also a new ways to learn, for which I’m glad. Since he was willing to talk about some of the issues, I believe I learned to better spot passages that might not be clear to someone who doesn’t know the story inside out. I’ve, so far, found a few more minor issues that were overlooked several times but did not escape me this time. And I know that there will be more to come, because nothing is foolproof.

That’s it from me. See you next time. In the meantime, feel free to comment if you faced some unique challenges when you were first processing external feedback.

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