Editing and reading aloud

I'm in the process of using comments from my beta readers to edit my Grammarian novel WIP. So far, my betas have agreed on many of the typos, have agreed that my consistent use of the AP stylebook standard for serial commas is inappropriate for a novel, and have agreed that the plot is pretty good.

My betas have disagreed about one subplot ("disliked it", "thought it was great"), a leading female character ("terrific", "annoying"), a supporting male character ("awesome", "flat... not much there"), some of the dialogue ("don't summarize... go into more detail", "goes on too long... too much detail"), and some other odds and ends.

I'm still waiting on more beta comments. Those will no doubt prompt more revisions. After that, I'll take a hard look at the final length and see how much I need to cut in order to get it back down to ~100K. Since my baby is at ~114K now, that's going to mean some slicing. Naturally, since every paragraph is a gem and every scene is a treasure, this will be a painful episode of cutting.

After that, I will read the book aloud. A normal talking pace is ~100 wpm, but a reading performance pace will vary from that for any given scene, depending on what's going on. I figure 100K will take about ~18 hours of steady reading. If I can devote an hour a day to the reading aloud, that's almost three weeks.

Note that the time estimate is JUST for the reading, not the subsequent editing. I'm planning on reading from a print copy, circling clumsy spots as I go. They'll just get a bright red TKTK so I can go back into the word processor later.  If I were to stop to fix things as I go, just the reading would take forever.

After that, it'll be decision time. I'll either have to start pitching it to agents or format it for self-publishing.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. Reading aloud is a great way to edit. Have fun with that. :)

    Also, as someone who has not yet read the WIP, I do enjoy your villain.

    1. Thanks, Laurita! I hope you enjoy the hero, too!

  2. Beta reading definitely different from talking speed. I always appreciate the outrageous time my betas and thetas put in - one in particular clocked over 40 hours with all the detail he went into.

    Good luck on the edits, Tony!

  3. Great to see stuff moving with this. There was a time (not so long ago) when The Grammarian seemed to be stuck in limbo. I'm glad you're being so thorough with your prep too, sets a good example ;)

    Good luck!


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