One of the things I've found the most difficult, however, for reasons I don't fully understand, is reading my own novel cover-to-cover without fiddling with it. There are plenty of reasons that this is important. For one thing, doing all that editing tends to take your mind off the flow. Instead of reading it as a reader would, your mind is stopping and starting all the time, switching gears between editor, typist, and reader. It isn't how readers are going to ingest your stuff, at least you hope it isn't, and unless you read cover-to-cover you're never going to know if your product is really ready.
And then there is printing the darn thing out. It is expensive and time consuming. I must have printed out my first novel twenty times. I had stacks and stacks of paper and empty toner cartridges all over the place. And carrying around a loose-leaf manuscript is anything but convenient. Plus, when you're done it all has to be thrown away. But writers like to know their work isn't going to fall into the wrong hands. Do I shred it? Burn it? Wallpaper my house with it? It's just an inconvenient mess that does nothing positive for the environment.
I decided to try something new with my current work in progress. The title of this novel is Viridis and I feel it is my best work yet. It is a classic boy meets girl story except this one happens in a dystopian universe that is unlike any you've ever read. It twists and turns all the way to the end. I'm in the end game now but hated to print it out because of the expense and the waste. Maybe it is because the story is set in an ultra-radical eco-Utopia?
Having become adept at building eBooks, I decided to turn it into a quick .mobi file and use my Kindle for the job. That way I get actual static pages that 'turn', I get to lean back, and I am unable to do any real editing so I can just read. The Kindle does allow me to highlight words and make simple notes, so I can flag typos and inconsistencies, but that's much different than more traditional editing - which is impossible in this format.
Until next time,
John C. Brewer is the author of Multiplayer an MMOG YA SF novel, and The Silla Project, a North Korean nuclear romance. You can learn more about him and what he is doing at his website, JohnCBrewer.com