Editing of 'Rutter's Reunion' is finished. I have been through the book three times from front to back and four times from back to front, marking out all my corrections and changes in coloured highlighters. Then came the last pass: the Kindle Pass. I am probably not the only author who does this, but I am the only one that I know of. I find it invaluable. The 'Master' version is laid out as it would be for submission to a publisher. This means that it is double-spaced Courier (the traditional typewriter font) and the margins are set to deliver a consistent 250 words to the page. It looks as dull as ditchwater, but it is actually the ideal layout for editing because everything is very clear on the screen and it is much easier to spot errors than with a proportionally-spaced font, like Times New Roman or Georgia. This produced a book of 508 pages, which I subsequently edited down to 475. Bearing in mind that we are talking double-spacing and big margins, that equates to about 350 pages in the published edition.
The 'Kindle Trim' version, however, is laid out as it will be for publication: single-spaced Times New Roman and no special margins. This is then transferred to my Kindle for a final check. I find this very useful because the Kindle presents the work differently and often throws up a whole host of, not so much errors, but examples of writing where I could have expressed myself better. These are revised and transferred to both copies carefully. The result of all this editing is that hardly a single page of the original manuscript escapes unaltered. It boils down to nothing less than a complete redraft of the entire novel.
Now for the final test, the most demanding of all: the 'Cuzzie Test'. My wife's cousin, Diane, is a voracious reader and the only person I know whom I can trust to give me a truly unbiased opinion of my work. It was because of her advice that I was able to bring the quality of my first book, 'Usurper' up to match that of its two sequels, 'A Sovereign's Honour' and 'A New Queen Rises'. Prior to that, I knew that it was lacking somewhere, but could not put my finger on it. She did, and that enabled me to correct it.
As I type this, my computer is also printing out a fresh copy of the edited book for her to read. She doesn't have her own computer or even a Kindle, so she has to have it on paper. This is useful because it means she can add her own annotations, if she wishes. That is why she gets a printout of the 'Master', rather than the 'Kindle' version. It will be delivered to her tomorrow and she has promised to report back within the week. Hopefully all will be well to publish then.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.