The editing of Peacekeeper 2 is continuing and will move even further along as soon as I post this blog entry. Right now, I am on page 59 of 151 pages. Lee Dilkie (fan turned copy-editor) suggests I write a prologue. After talking around with others, I've decided he's right. That means I will need to write a short introduction to Peacekeeper 2. The ebook version will include a hyperlink to skip the prologue if the reader is familiar with the series.
I've usually had a couple of people read my novels before publication and in recent years I've had my wife check out the book for grammatical mistakes. Most of the comments I get back are similar to: "good book", "I liked it", and "great job". These are 'feel good' comments and are not what I'm looking for from a beta reader. The reviews I get on Amazon and other sites also fall short. If someone reads one of my books I like to hear suggestions for improvement. When I collect enough of these I will even go back and revise previously published works.
What Lee is doing for me is far different and it's the sort of feedback I've needed for some time. A copy-editor does much more than read a manuscript and generate a short review. A copy-editor looks for inconsistencies, identifies sections where improvements can be made, and ensures the overall story structure is intact and holds the reader's interest. A copy-editor is usually not concerned with grammar although there's no reason why that level of detail can't be done at the same time. I told Lee he was working off a second draft and not to worry about grammar - that's my wife's territory.
The result was a document with helpful comments and suggestions. I began Peacekeeper 2 with one goal in mind - to write a novel that allowed a reader to learn about an alien culture. I've found that's not such an easy task. It is very difficult to create an alien culture because we humans know only our own and it's a very narrow slice of what exists elsewhere on our own planet. There are cultural differences between different areas of the United States as well as different countries. Many people are completely unaware of these differences and even subtle nuances can create friction between two people. If we have this sort of problem among humans, imagine what it's going to be like when we encounter an alien species.
I would like to add a polite reminder. If you know of anyone who would be interested in reading this blog please ask them to sign up for my mailing list. The sign-up form can be accessed by clicking here.
I hope to have Peacekeeper 2 ready for publication in about a month. A lot of it rests on finding the time to do my final editing as well as my wife's grammatical checks. Her mom is currently in the hospital and time to proof my book will be hard to find. I will keep you informed through this blog.