The rewrite is coming along right on schedule, which means it should be ready for Beta readers on February 1. If you want to be one of them, and get to read a pre-release e-version of Star Riders, just let me know by hitting the “Follow” button on my blog.
I committed myself almost two weeks ago to updating two chapters per day, and I’ve kept up with that. I’m currently at the 75% point, and the story gets better every day! At that pace, I’ll be at the 100% point on January 26, and then I’ll do a final sweep through the whole thing. For that, I plan to compile it into Kindle format, and read it on my iPad like any other novel. I won’t stop to correct problems, just highlight them and keep reading. I should be able to do that, make any last changes, and have an e-version available for the Beta readers (remember, Follow this blog if you want to do that!) by February 1.
I’m planning on giving the Beta readers three weeks to read it and provide some feedback, then I’ll take a week to make any updates to respond to that feedback, and that brings me up to March 1. That’s when I have a professional editor lined up to do the final “developmental” edit. That means she’s looking for character issues, continuity, ways to make it better, etc., rather than just proofreading. I’m hoping I can do that myself, although I know it’s so easy to miss your own silly mistakes.
For example, one of the things I’m doing in the rewrite is changing one of the characters from male to female. I wanted to include something about how this particular alien race raises their children, and that would come out better if this character was a mother. So one of the first things I do when rewriting a chapter is scan through it for any sentences about this character, and change the relevant pronouns. Then, mechanical changes out of the way, I can start over doing everything else I need to improve (dialogue, emotion, clarity, etc.). But inevitably, I come across a wrong pronoun I missed. Want to bet I caught ’em all? Yeah, I’m not taking that bet.
I’m excited about the ways the story is improving, especially the unexpected ways. For instance, I knew when I started the rewrite that I had to pay more attention to one character’s prosthetics, which he (or was it she?) needed after losing limbs to the villain. That enabled me to show another character’s tech abilities by having him adapt his race’s prosthetics for this particular race that doesn’t believe in them. Also, when I got to a spaceship scene where this character had to pull off some tricky maneuvers, I realized it shouldn’t be possible, since he hadn’t had time to get used to the new hands. Problem! But then I saw a solution that made the story even better: now the human hero could take the controls, rather than just being along for the ride. That wouldn’t have made sense if the other character had been able to do it, but now it would.
Anyway, back to the schedule: The professional editor needs six weeks, so that puts me out to the middle of April. I’ll do a final rewrite based on her recommendations, put the final touches on it, and I should be ready to launch on Amazon by the end of May.
ADDENDUM – January 25
I just finished the rewrite of the last two chapters, and have compiled the whole novel into a Kindle-format file for my personal read/review. So I’m on track per the schedule set forth above!