The writing of The King’s Sacrifice, second book in the Khekarian Series, is now completed. All that’s necessary now boils down into three steps.
Step one: I read it through as a writer, to check everything is as it should be with regard to spelling, formatting, continuity and flow. This is the first time I will have read the completed work from start to finish, and my mind will be on professionalism. Anything that jars or does not sit right even slightly will be dealt with at this stage.
Step two: I hand it over to my tame Test Reader and Sounding Board, my husband Greg. This is his first look at the story and he will view it as a reader does. He has a natural gift for picking up spelling or grammatical errors I have missed, so he will point those out, too, and they will be fixed. Any other issues will also be brought to the fore. That means, if anything jars or does not sit right with him, it will be dealt with at this stage.
Step three: I take another full read through with all the corrections in place. This time, I’m looking at the finished article – not as a writer, but as a reader, not looking for errors, just seeing how the whole looks and feels as one unit. If I’m happy with it, I launch, simple as that.
How long will this take?
I’m guesstimating it will take about two weeks to go through the final preparation outlined above. These are steps that cannot be rushed. If I’m not 100% happy with it, I know you won’t be 100% happy with it, and you being happy with my work is important to me. That means no speed-reading through it. That means a nice and slow and in-depth, living and breathing and feeling the story, as it is meant to be enjoyed.
I would like to say it’s my turn now to lock hubby in his office and feed him flat things under the door until he is done – yes, even nice and slowly. Unfortunately, work and study commitments limits his time, and hiding the car keys isn’t an option. That means Greg will take longer than he normally would to get through it. We’re looking at approximately 550 pages here, it can’t be read in a single sitting or even two or three.
However, the fact that Greg is forced to take his time over this turns out to be very good for me. Had I planned ahead properly and given myself a year (instead of eight months) to finish this second big fat book, I’d have had the time to put it aside for a month or so and start work on book three (nothing takes your mind off a project better than working on the next project). Picking it up again then would have been like reading a book written by someone else, totally fresh with all its surprises waiting for me. That is the best way to judge it – fresh. I’ve been buried in it as a writer for eight solid months, working with and looking at the nuts and bolts of the thing. Coming up to the surface and seeing it as a reader does is always a lovely surprise, but I have to step away from it first to do that.
So, as Greg takes his time, I’ll be stepping away and clearing my head as rapidly as I can – No, not chatting anywhere (because, guess what? People will want to know “how is it going”. Nice, but I don’t want to think about nuts and bolts, or even the surface, until I’ve seen it fresh).
Anyway, the important thing today is that the blood, sweat and tears part is done. So far, I like what I’ve produced and I don’t expect you to be disappointed. Not long to wait now and, yes, I will keep you all up to date, every step of the way.