Discoveries about Editing

I’ve recently been throwing myself headlong into editing the second edition of Colonisation and in the course of this undertaking had a bit of a writer’s epiphany.

Before I go on, this is how Colonisation looks right now on my desk:

Colonisation editing

Editing my book by hand, with a red pen and a printed copy has been an extremely cathartic experience and it’s proving to be a great way to reconnect with my work at a very base level. I’m already identifying errors and passages for improvement; heck, I’m even making notations of the improvements to add as I go along! I’m also identifying stupid errors in grammar and spelling that I’m both a bit surprised and ashamed got through.

Reading my work and adding notes in this form has a totally different “feel” to the digital version I toiled over (maybe too  hastily) before. I can disconnect much easier and look at my work in a more critical light, mainly because of the drastic format change and the stark absence of “by Richard Holliday” anywhere on the printout. It’s just Colonisation the book, with space to add notes and scribblings for ideas, identifying plot holes and more

Another epic feeling is progress; with the digital copy, it just felt like and endless stream of words… that just ended. With my printout… I don’t know… I just feel I’m making more “progress” when I can turn a page and get scribbling on it afresh.

I really don’t know how I edited before, but for certain going forward, editing large projects without a stage involving a printed copy is not going to happen. It may cost me a bomb in paper, box files, red pens and toner cartridges but it’s already feeling like time well spent!

Though one thing I’m steering clear of: highlighting passages and simply noting “improve” or “redo”; Future Me cannot remember everything Current Me is thinking, so a few pointers are going in!

As Colonisation remains my first project, I’m as yet undecided as to whether to send it to professional editing. I’m of the opinion that as it’s a pretty narrow-scope book and not too ambitious I can tighten it up myself (after a few passes here) and release it as is, and move on. Rest assured, my next project, the grand space opera The World Eaters will be edited professionally as a project of it’s complex scope will require. Colonisation is more a learning experience than anything else; I’m proud of it as my first book but the best really is yet to come!

Got any editing tips or thoughts on my new workflow? Or are you interested in finding out more about Colonisation? By all means, leave me a comment; I love reading them! :-)

Announcements, Writing

Quick Note: Colonisation Distribution

Just a quick update to inform you that I have elected to disable distribution on Colonisation via paperback format while I work on a second edition of said book over the summer.


As I’m not sure how long it takes CreateSpace to update the records on Amazon, please do not buy my book on there in paperback format if it’s listed as currently available; you’ll simply be wasting your money. I appreciate your interest but the second edition is going to be an improvement I’d like you all to enjoy and it’d be mighty tricky if you buy the first edition in paper form when a new one is around the corner!

The Kindle edition is still available as updating that is a matter of trivial ease; I will upload the second edition there and hopefully Amazon’s infrastructure will push it out to customers as quickly as possible.


(Also, no Monthly Review this month as I’m terribly busy moving house. Sorry!)

Anyone trying to auction now-rare First Editions should kindly pay the author at least 20% of the proceeds! ;-)

Announcements, Writing

Colonisation – Getting A Second Go

I’ve been quite nervous about the incoming reviews of Colonisation that I’ve been pitching for over the last week or two, and it seems that now they’re coming in, my work with Rad on Mars is yet to conclude.

General feedback has been of praise of my classical-style writing and an exciting second half. However, the perils of self-publishing have bitten me with some quite embarrassing typos and grammatical errors, probably associated with my mad rush to finally achieve the date I had set myself. In hindsight, I should’ve given myself some more time.

One of the benefits of publishing electronically on Kindle is the ability to quickly and easily revise one’s work with new book files that are automatically (to my understanding) pushed out to those who have purchased the work in any form via Kindle. This really takes away one of the more anxious aspects of bookwriting, in that once it’s done, it’s done, even if after the fact there are aspects the author may want to change slightly.

Therefore, by the end of September I am aiming to have given Colonisation another round (or two) of editing, shaken things up a little and will present to you a second edition of my first full work. I will be working on other projects but I suppose this one’s like a first girlfriend and you never quite forget about it entirely.

If I don’t feel ready for an October re-publication, I’ll let you know. I will leave the first edition on Kindle for the time being – rest assured that if you read it and have issue, your comments will be addressed! Do keep reviewing! :-)