Well beyond my deadline and well over my anticipated word count, I finally finished the third book of my epic fantasy series, the World In-between. Halloween night, I penned the final words of Secrets of the Sages. Since then, I have been immersed in editing.
“I am emptying the ocean with a thimble,” Silvia says in this book.
Editing is all-consuming. Before a copy of my manuscript sees a different computer screen, I edit. On my desk, I keep paper and a pen ready for jotting down editing notes. How did I spell certain words in other books of the series? Should I capitalize shaman? What will be the spelling of Teresa’s family’s last name? Et cetera, et cetera.
Manuscripts are funny things. They evolve with each reading. When I write, I will have what I call alpha reads. This is when I will read a few rawly written pages to a few close testers (my family). They give me feedback. I learn what works, what needs improvement and what sounded better in my head than on the page. I scribble notes in the little white areas between the lines. Lately, I began using a different color pen for notes.
My notes make my typed manuscript a much better read than my handwritten one. Yet, I still change more than what my notes indicate. The first line of my handwritten Secrets of the Sages reads: “Uncle Berty, Mommy wants to talk to you,” Hope said, holding out the receiver of the old white and brass rotary phone. The first line of Secrets of the Sages is (thus far): Magic infiltrated Berty’s life, yet it baffled him.
Who knows what subsequent read-throughs will bring? What I do know is that chapters will form. They will get fun little titles. Missing words will be found. Typos will be corrected (hopefully). I will research spelling and grammar underlined within the document. My hands will hurt and my eyes will know fatigue well.
Culminating at roughly 90,000 words, Secrets of the Sages smushes the magical and the non-magical worlds between which Berty lives. I have yet to set a release date. The cover is in production. Secrets, left to be forgotten, can destroy the Land of Sages and crumble the Empire.