Over the weekend, I finished alpha-reading a science fiction novel. Alpha-reading is… different. The manuscript was quite clean, but I still had to fight to keep myself from commenting on the handful of minor punctuation glitches or making an occasional joke with a movie quote — it’s what I do, after all. (Yes, the jokes are part of the standard proofreading/editing package you get if you hire Mercenary Proofreader. 🙂 ) Limiting my comments to topics such as the flow of the story and whether the characters’ motivations were clear/believable was not easy.
This morning, my clone informed me that he wants me to do one round of editing on The Madness Engine before we send it off to our beta reader. I prefer to do this — I was quite nervous about letting anyone, even LR, see it before I had a chance to check for dropped words, comma splices, and whether or not Geoffrey sounds like himself — but I wish I’d known sooner.
The reason this came up at all is because I also found out this morning that a blogger I follow is looking for an editor for her science fiction novel. I love her blog posts, and I would love the opportunity to edit her novel, but I won’t have the time, which is why I’m not applying for the job. No matter what else comes along, my first priority is always editing my clone’s writing (including his non-fiction writing, so sometime this spring I’ll be proofreading another thesis prospectus), and he is so close to finishing the draft of his WiP. There’s one thread that needs a couple more scenes, another that needs a few foreshadowing details added to earlier passages, and then…
Y’know what’s really awesome? There are strangers eagerly awaiting the publication of The Madness Engine — the next Tebrey novel, as they call it. LR may be our first reader (*mutters something about moving rocks*), but he’s not our only reader; his brain is not the only one that I look forward to exploding with the plot complications and Big Reveals of this latest book. I know LR will like it, but nevertheless, I’m nervous. Have we shown our hand too soon with certain elements of the story? Do the multiple threads, tightly connected though they are, give the novel a bit of a scattered ‘kitchen sink’ feel? Will Geoffrey seem believable as a normal person from the reader’s perspective?
(Seriously, WordPress spellcheck, what the fuck? An entire paragraph underlined in red? Has someone been at your programming again? At least you can spell your own name now — that’s an improvement.)