05-25-2013: Editing

I have read in a number of books on writing that it's usually a good idea to set aside a draft for 6 weeks before going back and editing it. I always thought such advice didn't make much sense. I'm beginning to wonder if I was wrong. I finished all but the last few chapters of Peacekeeper back in mid-March and then was forced to set it aside during the recent refueling outage at the power plant where I work. During that forced hiatus I thought of many things that needed enhanced and changed. When the editing started, the changes began to flow. I will most likely follow this practice from now on even though it's very hard to do.

I am now back to normal work hours and editing of Peacekeeper is well under way. I added quite a bit of new material to chapter nine - so much so that I was forced to split it into two separate chapters to keep it from becoming too large. I like to keep my chapters at around 2,500 words. The new material significantly enhances the main character's interactions with a member of an alien species. It also brings out a problem that the main character must deal with regarding his family. This makes for a much better story as the reader is able to connect with the main character on a more intimate level. It also accomplishes one of the goals of this book - delving into greater detail into the culture of an alien society. So far I am quite pleased with the results.

I will be working 12-hour nights starting Monday night. Usually, things are rather slow on a holiday night and I should be able to get some additional editing done. I'm also working on a computer program at work - something I haven't done in several years. It's an Access database program that will read a text version of something we call the Plant Data Book. Once I have the code tested and the sections of the Plant Data Book I want, loaded into a database, I can make things significantly easier on the technicians next outage. I think engineering and planning might also want a copy of this database once it's done. I love programming and this sort of programming was once my forte when I was in CMIT (Computer Maintenance & Information Technology). Unfortunately, those days are gone.

I did play hooky from editing today. I spent the entire day doing yard work. It needed done and I had the time. I will be doing editing tonight after my wife goes to bed. I'll be staying up in preparation for 12-hour nights. If all goes well, I hope to have Peacekeeper ready for my wife's proofing in about 2 months.

In other news (quickly) I will be going to Launch Pad again this year. I've cancelled the trip to Convergence in Minnesota. I am reading "17 And Gone" by Nova Ren Suma whom I met at Launch Pad last year. It's a YA novel and most definitely not something I would normally read. But, I know the author and sometimes it's good to read something different. And, finally, book sales are slow but steady. I continue to get very good reviews. I don't understand why sales have not picked up. I certainly don't understand why sales went nuts last year sending my Galactic Alliance series almost into the top 100 books on Amazon. If anyone understands why things like that happen, please enlighten me.