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Next Step: Check!

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

I know I've said it before but I hate editing.

I feel I can finally truly say that as I just finished editing the final chapter in my book, The Criminal!

Not only was this the next step in editing my book but it is incredibly significant for a lot of reasons:

  1. I have never completely edited a book before. I have on occasion made it a few chapters but then given up in the editing process. Making it all the way through the book is incredibly significant because I have never come so far before.

  2. Editing the book truly is the next step in the process of getting published. With a fully edited manuscript, I can begin to query agents to seek representation for my book. Without that edited manuscript, I was unable to enter this stage.

  3. With The Criminal edited, I can move onto the next book in the series and begin writing again. Let me just tell you, writing is so much more exciting and so much easier than editing.

I will write a post about my editing process in the weeks to come as I feel that will likely be of help to those who are facing such a large (and horrendous) task but for now, aside from celebrating the fact that I have edited all 46 chapters, I have a little bit of information to share.

First, some numbers:

I share in this week's post a little bit more about what some of these numbers mean so have a look out for that coming on Wednesday but for now, let's talk about what numbers my book ended up on.

First of all, my average chapter length ended up being about 1770 words. This is a little bit below some of the chapters commonly written today but it is not abnormally low. It is also likely this way because my chapters vary in length a lot. I have a number of chapters that are shorter (1,200-1,500) and a couple that near 3,000 words.

My longest chapter is 2949 words which to give you an idea is about 5 full-sized pages (not book pages) single-spaced. On the other hand, my shortest chapter is about 999 words which is about a page and a half single-spaced.

In total, my novel came out to be about 83,000 words. This is slightly shorter than the average fantasy novel but not so short that it wouldn't be considered a novel. It is well over the length of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone but well under the length of Cinder. It is around halfway between the two (but closer to the length of Cinder).

All that being said, what is next for The Criminal? And what's next for the Once Upon a Tome series as a whole?

Well, I am not quite ready to query just yet and neither am I quite done editing as a whole. Despite having edited the book in its entirety, I do not want to call it quits before I have a second look at a few more things:

  1. I want to read through the comments and critiques that my beta readers have given me. I have five beta readers who have been looking at the book each with their ups and downs and one beta reader who has finished the book in its entirety. Reading through their thoughts and applying their critiques is the next step in the process. Look for a blog post about beta readers coming soon.

  2. Looking back over a few chapters that I marked for second looks. Not only were there two or three chapters with word counts I thought I could potentially increase but there were two chapters that had minor issues I thought I might take a second look at in the days to come to see if I could improve the chapters with a second look.

  3. Other minor corrections. I have written down a list of other minor corrections I want to check for and edit in the following few days. Things like checking the dates of the past timeline fit in here. I also changed the names of a few characters after a reader suggested it and ensuring that none of the old names show up is important.

Once all of the final edits have been made, I will be giving the manuscript to my mother to read with the hope that she can catch any last-minute grammatical errors and other issues. Come June, I hope to participate in pitch mad and following that day, I plan to begin the query process.

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