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Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Perks of Reading Your Own Book

Due to writing a sequel, I forced myself to read the published version of Martin Hospitality a while back. Even though I'll never enjoy reading my own writing, I found a few fun things to do as I read that I recommend every writer do now!


Yes, this assumes you're fine with writing in books. I find it worth it (kind of liking using notebooks), but you could always do it with sticky notes, too, I suppose. Or in a notebook to the side. But trust me!! You don't want to skip these fun and helpful things.

Editing


We all know there are things we'd go back and change. The hardest part for me is not to change everything in word choice and structure. Try to take minimal notes like factual errors, typos, inconsistencies, etc. Must changes. Thankfully, with Createspace it's not hard to tweak your file and re-upload it.

I think everyone edits better on paper! So if you have time, it might be worth ordering a print copy of your final draft and doing this before you publish it. I may start implementing this because it's so helpful.

Note-taking


This is especially helpful for writing a sequel or any other books with recurring characters. How else are we supposed to remember what color so-and-so's eyes were or what mannerisms we gave the 6-year-old? It makes things easier to find if you highlight, underline . . . something. Who wants to spend their days searching through a digital copy of a manuscript anyway?

I kid you not when I say I couldn't be writing a sequel without  having done this! Beyond just reminding myself what I've already written, I also found lots of tiny little details that I mentioned once that could be full-blown threads in Book 2. Let's call it accidental foreshadowing.

If you have found a good note-taking system for details like this, I'd love to hear it! I just used a black pen and purple pen and had different underlining methods.

Annotating


This is so fun!!! I'm so glad I did this. Anytime I remembered what made me write something a particular way as I read (the source of inspiration or how it almost didn't make it in), I'd leave a note. I don't want to forget those things! And I get the feeling that they're the kind of things that readers love to know.

I have to say that the idea to do this came from Nadine Brandes. It's so worth doing, though, if only for your own amusement. If you do want to share them, I think they'd work wonderfully as insider's material for a street team or the like. (Again, Nadine is brilliant.)

For now, you can satisfy yourself with 50 facts about Martin Hospitality.
Have you ever read your own published book or annotated anything? What are your thoughts on writing in books?


If you want more info on what it's been like for me to write a sequel, look for my post as a part of Naomi's Inkling to Write writers' conference! It will contain a variety of topics on writing, the publishing journey, and marketing. My post just happens to be titled Slaying the Sequel Monster. ;)