Revision 1 is now at around 50% of the way through the first re-read.

Writing progress as of 3rd February 2019.

Since the start of February I have been reading back over my draft, making notes and resisting the temptation to dive in and start making changes already. I feel the best way to approach this is to read the whole thing on paper from start to finish, and just take notice of where changes are needed and what they should be, before coming back to the computer and trying to fix things.

You can of course read on a screen (be it your Kindle, phone or computer) but that does make it harder to make notes. This way I can focus on identifying the problems now, and not be tempted to dive back in and re-write straight away.

To this end, I actually ordered a paperback copy from a print-on-demand service. You can do this through Amazon (via KDP) if you like, or there are other providers such as Lulu or Blurb . This can be done without offering the book up for sale or reading by anyone else, something I was keen to avoid since this is a first draft!

This has two particular benefits: firstly you can practice going through the various steps you’ll need to take if you decide to self-publish with one of these services, and gain some practice; and secondly you get to hold a paperback book in your hand with your name on the cover! This might sound vain but it can be a very exciting experience, and if you view it as a reward for completing your draft then it’s a good incentive too.

As for the price - my book came in at 365 pages (I told you I over-write) so the Amazon version cost me £4.35, plus £2.97 postage and packing (for some reason it’s not covered by Prime delivery) - which came to a total of £7.32 ($9.50). I bought one from Lulu also, to compare and contrast their printing quality etc. and that came to £8.00 ($10.50).

Considering most home laser printers cost something like 2.5 pence (3.5 cents) a page, I’d expect it to cost me about £9.75 ($12.75) when you factor in paper and toner - so it’s actually cheaper to order a ‘real’ book than try and do it yourself.

I’ll talk more about print-on-demand in a later blog post, but for now I’ll say you can’t tell the difference between these test copies of my novel and a regular paperback produced by the big publishing companies.

Back to the editing!

It’s been almost ten weeks since I finished the first draft , which I felt was long enough to let it sit. This meant that I’d forgotten the finer details of it all, and was able to read it with a slightly more detached eye. Obviously it’s still something I wrote and I’m very close to it but after over two months it’s slightly easier to be a bit more dispassionate about it.

So far I have read about the first half of it, and planted copious post-it notes through the text to serve as reminders for things that need fixing, improving or even removing entirely. I think the second half is less well structured than the first, so might need more work - and more time to analyse - so my current very conservative plan is to finish reading and note-taking by the middle of the month - in time for Valentine’s day!

Revision 1 is now at around 50% of the way through the first re-read.