4/2020 Writing update

April 2020 has came to an end – and so did another stage of my writing process. Let’s get to the details.

End of beta stage

I’ve wanted to end the beta stage as of 30.4. but I’ve noticed there were some bits of notes and comments I somehow managed to skip, so I had to make a few edits on 1.5. before I wrapped it.

Anyway, I think this is a moment that requires a few more words.

After all the drafts when I believed I might finally be getting there, only to receive so many comments in the earlier beta stages that convinced me otherwise, the last two beta swaps were finally different. Most comments were about minor issues, which proved the story itself is in a good shape and only needs some final polishing.

Apart from typo and grammar phase (I was making changes on the go to test ideas between betas so some of them faced sections that haven’t seen a single typo-hunting pass, for which they have my eternal gratitude and a medal of patience), this means changes to some passages for better structure (dialogue tags, hints of movement), better decsription of emotions in some passages, and so on – things that don’t change the outcome of the story but have an impact on the reader’s experience.

This doesn’t mean I’m done editing, though – after making changes based on that feedback, I’ll have to read through it myself (on my Kindle to get a different view than the computer) and then fix any leftover issues.

By the way, I made a separate post on how (I believe) to see your draft is ready to leave beta stage behind.

First writerly ‘coming out’

I’ve mentioned it a few times that I keep my writing a secret from most of my family (except for my sister). Finding a good moment, I made a big step and told my mother. She did not have a heart attack or doubt my sanity, though she was shocked (not in a negative way, fortunately), so I guess that’s good for me.

What’s next?

With most of the writing work on #1 done, it’s time to look forward. I’ll have to start crossing things off my pre-publishing to-do list. Because there’s something related to my job that’ll require my time throughout May, I guess I’ll relax a bit on the writing front and get into it just after that’s done.

So, the list and what/when I plan to do:

  • Cover design: I’ll have to do a bit of research (I think I might be able to do some of it in May) and then start searching for a cover artist the month after.
  • Map(s): I’ll need to draw a new version with the changes I’ve made in mind, scan it, and use it as a base for making a digital version. This will have some learning curve (as I am terrible in digital drawing) and is something I plan for the next two months as well. I also want to make a simple layout sketch of the Royal Palace.
  • End matter and Goodreads author page: I’m not planning to tackle this completely yet, but I want to have some rough idea of how it’d look like. For now, I’ll probably ask around some other authors and gather information on how it may look like. After I have the final cover and this sorted, I’d finally ‘announce’ the to-be first book and manually add it to Goodreads, then sort out the upgrade to author account.
  • Formatting: This will need some research and I’ll probably schedule this for the early summer. While the book itself is an easy part, the devil is in the rest: front and end matter, and chapter headers.
  • Tax ID and Amazon author page: This will wait for the late summer, I guess. I’ll need to get a tax ID (fortunately, my mother is an accountant and knows what that entails) to upgrade my Amazon account to an author account, and I’ll also need the book in some kind of complete state (with front and end matter, the map, etc. already in the e-book file).
  • Blurb: I think it’s in a decent shape and will need just a bit of polishing before I finalize it, so it’s a minor task. Plus it won’t take that much time just to edit it a bit. I’ll probably take care of this along with GR author page (because I’ll need it for adding the book).
  • Glossary: Because I plan to release just the Kindle e-book first, this means using the powerful but underappreciated Kindle X-ray feature. I’ll have to write paragraph-sized descriptions for pretty much all important characters, places, and custom species. I can tackle this in bits over time. The good part is that most of it will be reusable in the sequels with (almost) no changes.
  • Launch and pricing: This will be the last thing for me, presumably in early autumn. Not much to say on this matter yet.

Well, that’s oddly specific roadmap for my usual level of planning, but I guess it’s necessary, given my stage. We’ll see how well I manage it.

Thanks you for reading and see you next time.

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