I’m one who will proofread novels several times, as opposed to just giving it a final proofread or a run through. The primary reason is that I know I can always make a novel read better, either with stronger nouns or verbs. Sort of like a glorified copyedit, which has always been a strong suit.
But, there is so much more than just describing action. The more I proofread novels I write, such as Wind Wielder, the more caveats I will find that readers won’t. And not only does this make the entire novel read better, sound more convincing, and therefore, lead to better reviews; it also entices readers to find out what’s coming up in future reads, like Wind Master.
Anyway, in today’s post, I’ll go over what looked good in Wind Wielder and what didn’t. So if you’re a reader interested in reading my Elementals of Nordica Series, this post will also give you insight on how anal I am about always improving my work.
Or, if you’re an author who’d like to see why it’s beneficial to proofread a novel multiple times, you’ll also find value in today’s post.
But first, let me answer this question:
Why Not Just Hire a Proofreader?
It’s the preferred route of many indie authors. But the primary reason I won’t hire one is because no one knows a book or a book series better than the author writing it, or their readers. Therefore, proofreaders and editors are always on the outside, looking in, and for me, it’s just too much of a risk.
While I highly recommend that you hire editors and proofreaders if you’d rather stick to writing, it’s also possible to go without professionals. However, it takes a major commitment from you if you plan on working as not only the author, but also the editor. And there are a lot of successful indies who will do just that, and perhaps turn to their fans to beta read their work and provide recommendations.
For me, I’m willing to take the commitment and undergo the opportunity cost (time) to edit, develop, and proofread my work. But for others, they see the value (money) in both garnering a second opinion from professionals while freeing more time to write.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But again, since this is a work I’ve mapped, outlined, and developed, I just feel Elementals of Nordica and the entire Elementals Universe belongs to me for development and editorial purposes. Now, if I were to write in a genre, I’m not as familiar in, odds are I’ll get an editor plus a proofreader.
Check out the blog post 8 Ways to Edit Your Final Draft if you’re looking for specific strategies I use when I proofread my novels.
What Did I Find After the Proofread?
I definitely found flow issues, mainly via dialogue. And I ended up cutting about 2,000 words from the text to where it now sits between 80,000 and 81,000 words. Often, I found dialogue the book sounded better without, along with stage direction that didn’t fit. Again, I attacked the minimalist approach, and there were also times I’d explain action in a given scene twice. Something that irks me when I find the tactic in novels that I read.
I also found minor plot holes in the dialogue and even the narration that I had missed on previous developmental and copyedits. This is okay, as I did not necessarily look for minor plot holes until this particular time. Again, I go through multiple, at least three, proofreads following my developmental and copyedits. And I found at least one example of minor plot issues in every chapter.
It pleased me to discover that I found few typos. However, I noticed several choppy sentences throughout the entire work. This is the sheer minimalist in me, but there were times even I went too far with the approach, so I actually lengthened a few sentences in each chapter until they conformed to the pacing.
And most importantly, I found a few elements that went unexplained. Now, there are examples where I would do this on purpose, for them to emerge in later works considering the overarching storyline. However, there were times that, from a reader’s perspective, I’d ask myself how a character went from Point A to Point B in both thought and action. Therefore, I had to backtrack a few times in order to smooth out the plot.
Will I Ever Hire a Proofreader?
Not for Elementals of Nordica, no. However, I have the first 10 percent of Wind Wielder available on Prolific Works, in which readers can download for free. Note that I have taken time to proofread and edit the first 10 percent of the work more often than the final 90, so I finished it a few months back.
I also have my contact info in the book’s backmatter, in case any prospective reader is interested in joining my ARC/Beta Reading Team. That’s based on if I have room for those readers, as I only allow a specific number in every few months. Since the ARC/Beta Reading Team comprises my regular readership, they will in the future act as a second pair of eyes in the proofreading realm.
For one, they would know the series much better than any editor or proofreader, who again are on the outside looking in, and may have never heard of my work before. For another, since my ARC/Beta Reading Team are members of the Readers Republic, they also have password-protected access to my character, elemental, and global profiles, which gives them exclusive access to the backstory regarding the Elementals Universe.
This means that they haven’t just read the books; they also know the universe in which the books take place. I like to think of them as the superfans who want nothing more than an excellent book not just for me to release and for themselves to read, but also for their friends, family, and other readers who may come across Elementals of Nordica and the entire Elementals Universe.
Therefore, the sheer value in them far outweighs anything I would get with a professional editor or proofreader, at least for this series and universe.
Want to Help Proofread Novels in the Elementals Universe?
Are you a reader who’d love to help an author proofread novels before their publication?
If so, sign up for my Readers Republic, where within 72 hours of joining you will receive both a free novella and a free novelette. Plus, you’ll get the first 10 percent of Wind Wielder in the back of my first freebie, so again, you can decide if the series is right for you and if you’d like to join me on this journey of becoming an official reviewer for the Readers Republic, or at least a beta/proofreader.
Sound like something you’d be interested in?
Click the link below to join the Readers Republic, and once you’re in, make sure you reply to my Welcome Email telling me your interest in helping to bring the Elementals Universe to life.
What’s in it for you?
You will gain exclusive access to my character, elemental, and global profiles as they become available right here on my author website. You will also gain exclusive access to any free novella or novelette that I write, and I write many of them, including the two freebies that you will receive upon signing up to the Readers Republic.
You’ll gain early access to all of my full-length novels. And yes, you will even get free digital copies of each novel that I write. Especially if you’re interested in reviewing my ARCs.
So, for background information regarding the characters, ARCs, opportunities to beta read and provide feedback, and access to many freebies as they become available, click the link below and I’ll see you in the Republic.
Thank you so much for reading, and Go Cardinals!