Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Doing the Math: Calculating Time to Manuscript Completion

That’s right, I said "doing the math," which will shock family and friends. I made it through classes like Algebra and Geometry only because of my personal tutor, a.k.a. sister.

Based on information gained from a professional edit of the first 3,000 words, my years spent writing and editing academic and scientific material are showing. My book needs work on pacing, to remove or re-write slow spots, and added reality through increased use of scents, tastes, and sounds. My application of all of these was somewhat sparse. I at least got the story line, visuals/settings, dialogue, and character development down.

I’m going to be generous and give myself four months to finish the project. My manuscript has approximately 83,500 words, divided into 34 chapters. Editing/re-writing roughly two chapters a week will get it ready for editing and Beta readers by September. With a 13-month-old toddler, that means burning the candle at both ends—already my normal state of living—but it is an achievable goal.

During this process, I also need to find an affordable graphic artist and a copyeditor. I would like to have cover art in three to four months, and I will need an editor in October. Any takers? Please post recommendations or your own contact/website, if you have skill in that area.


  1. Hi! Followed your link from KB. When you're looking for Beta readers you can give me a shout if you like. I have a biology background and love a good science-based tale. I'm not a grammar expert, but I'm good at picking up typos and incorrect word usage.

    Lynn from Red Adept Reviews (she posts on KB too) is who I'm using for my editing. Check her out, I think she'd be able to slot you in October.

  2. Thank you, Coral! Your biology background would be valuable to check my science. I'm already stretching the aspect of viral transmission to near the breaking point, so I don't want to go too far. My grammar is usually pretty clean. One of my challenges is that I sometimes get sidetracked by the technical aspect of writing, but those typos do tend to lurk where I no longer see them after reading the manuscript for the umpteenth time.

    I appreciate the recommendation for Lynn. I have seen her around KB and the Amazon forums.