So I haven't posted about my progress on The Hope of Memory in roughly 10 months. I'm starting to feel like George R.R. Martin here, but at least it's only been a little over 2 years since my last book, and not the ridiculous 5 that GRRM has going right now.
But anywho... Wilders is almost ready for publication. 2015 was a year of great change for me, and a lot of things happened that took my attention away from writing. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As I mentioned before, both Wilders and Rom Tar have been written for a while now. The Wilders first draft was finished about 3 years ago, while Rom Tar was completed a year ago. I'm about done with Draft 6 of Wilders now, and I think the next will be the last.
Over the years I've come up with my own process for writing and editing, to polish my work into shape without involving an editor. Yes, I self-edit my books. Many will tell you this is a mistake and you should NEVER do it, and I know it sounds condescending, but I'm telling the story I want to, MY story, and I think any writer worth their weight should know how to properly edit prose, even their own. Don't make someone else do it for you... you can do it yourself if you take the time.
My Revision Process
Here's basically what I've come up with after self-editing a few books now:
Draft 1 = Handwritten draft
Draft 2 = Typing out first draft, fix content as I go along
Reading 1 = First read through, take notes on things to fix
Draft 3 = Hardcore line edit, fix content issues (adding / deleting)
Draft 4 = Audio reading (read the entire thing out loud)
Draft 5 = Grammar and spellcheck (via Word, etc)
Draft 6 = Checks (limit certain words & phrases, term consistencies, word stats)
Reading 2 = Second read through
Draft 7 = Any remaining fixes
In the future I'd like to add beta readers into the mix, just to get impressions and to make sure things work as written, but for now I can survive without it.
The initial draft aside, Draft 3 usually takes the longest, because I slowly go through every sentence and fix everything I see. For Wilders this took me 8 months. Hopefully it won't take so long for Rom Tar... I want to get it out before the end of 2016 and move on from this trilogy. I have another story that I'm really excited about (and which I might start writing this year for a change of pace).
So stay tuned... Wilders is coming.