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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Proofing, One More Time (I Think)

Finished the first chapter of the new Windsong Lake book and started on Chapter 2. The issues I had with the status of Stefanie and Paul's relationship resolved it self very neatly, always a gratifying experience. I started thinking more about the actual mystery which will be introduced, and I think maybe the book title should be "The Ghost of Mongan Manor." That part will require more thought before I get into writing it.

I've started another reading of "Where Power Lies," and after not reading much of it for a couple of days, I find I like what I've got. A few more words got added or removed, but the basics work just fine. During this reading, I'm also keeping in mind where chapter breaks occur. I caught myself figuring out how many pages each chapter was, and I had to recall that consistent chapter length is not really an issue. What matters is that each chapter ends at a point where something has happened that changes things in a permanent way. This caused me to move the end of Chapter 1 back a bit, and now it ends with Dee making an important connection rather than with her reflecting on her harrowing experience of finding a friend dead in the office. So damn the page count! The structure matters more than the numbers.

There will be one more pass when I'm fully happy with the manuscript, and that is to check formatting. Using Microsoft Word, funny things can creep into the file that can only be seen when the formatting marks are made visible. In the past, I've gotten galleys to proof where paragraphs did not begin as they appeared to in my file, mainly due to how the one before ended. If the Enter key is pressed at the end of a sentence, Word inserts a paragraph symbol. However, if I'm accidentally holding down the shift key at the same time, a different symbol gets inserted. Those are the instances where the galley winds up not ending the paragraph properly. I also look for extraneous spaces and tabs in this stage.

So back to reading, although I'm not looking forward to the next step to publication: writing The Dreaded Synopsis.

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