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.
Excellent work Allyson, must be a real boon to have Greg handy, and congratulations on reaching this point. Even more poignant as this is number 2, one of many Im sure…. and:
Hi Greg, dont hold back mate, you have to be cruel to be kind…. (sounds like a good title for a song)
Hi Artie (would you prefer Artie or Rob?)
Thank you. 😀 Yes, in many ways this one is more special to me because it’s the advancement into the rest of the series. I was held to the first one for so long, trying to get recognized, that I could barely think ahead to where I wanted to be. Now I am free to fly with it, and it feels pretty good.
I guarantee Greg will not hold back. He’s honest and is not shy of saying he doesn’t like something if that’s how he feels. One of the reasons I trust him so much is that he doesn’t go deliberately looking for aspects of my work to tear down, but will certainly point out anything not right. He knows as well as I do false praise and/or keeping silent on the bad bits is no use to me – it won’t help me advance and won’t help him retire in the manner to which he’d like to become accustomed. 🙂
Cheers! Have a great afternoon. 🙂
“you have to be cruel to be kind” – I think that was in some song lyrics many moons ago! Yes, if there is anything that doesn’t feel right about a story I’ll certainly point it out, also where I think it has great impact too. As a programmer by trade, I also find that any spelling or grammar mistakes tend to stand out although I do have to remember that Allyson is using US spelling which as a pom means I have to shift gears occasionally. Completing this second book means a lot as it proves Allyson has the staying power to keep producing and I know she won’t let it out unless it is as good as or better than the previous one – I’m looking forward to reading it and I’m sure you are too!
Nice reply. Thanks, Greg. 🙂 🙂 🙂
I am so proud of you for all your hard work and dedication. Another baby almost ready to go off into the world alone.
I would like to reward you with a bottle of brandy and a couple oranges. Do with them as you will.
And yes, I understand where the not chatting was aimed. 😉
Hi Beth! 🙂
A bottle of brandy, eh? Oranges, eh? 😀 I have not forgotten you guys and I will be in – just a couple of weeks to go, then I can hang around a bit and even pop in and out (if you’ll pardon the expression) during the big brush strokes of book three. Hey, I’ve been trying to catch up with you anyway – I don’t even know if you’ve seen the new covers (book one and book two), so it looks like I’ll have to chase you to find out.
Have a great evening (I know it’s late in the day in the US). Here? Tonight we celebrate with champagne!
The new covers are beautiful. Very evocative of the stories within. That girl looks like she could kick some butt and have a great time doing it.
I especially love the new cover on book one. Since it makes my original cover copy that much more rare and valuable.
Enjoy your moment of triumph!
I’m so glad you like them. Thank you! 😀
Yep, I saw that woman and thought of Jackie straight away – you know the scene. The guy on book two – that’s Chenti who you will hopefully soon meet.
Big hug to you! 🙂