After a long week of editing, I’m relieved and proud to say that the second edition of The Thirteenth Hour should be live in the next few days. Naturally, after I had finished the first edition, I ended up going through and finding a number of areas that I wanted to change. I also wanted to incorporate some suggestions I’d received from people who were kind enough to read the book early on.
While important, most were not very interesting to write about at length (unless you like formatting and editing documents) – some areas where the spacing wasn’t quite right, a few areas with missing words, some sections that needed to be edited for brevity and/or internal consistency, and a bunch of grammatical corrections to make sure tense, number, and punctuation were as correct as I could get them. I ended up doing two simultaneous edits – one for Kindle and another for the printed Createspace edition, which had different formatting.
It was a very tedious process, but I did learn something that will be helpful in the future. I discovered that I can’t catch little mistakes like this on a computer screen. Despite trying to train myself to do more and more on a computer screen in order to save some trees, there’s nothing like paper. So, I sacrificed one of my printed books to mark up. There seems to be something about old fashioned paper and red marker that really brings out the crud (even more so than reading out loud, a previous editing trick I tried). I guess I’m old school in that way.
I did a few tweaks to the pictures as well, including drawing two new pictures to the previously blank “Part 1” and “Part 2” pages of the first edition, like this one of Logan zooming up, up, and away on his flying hoverboard, Lightning.
There was a picture I omitted from the first edition because something about it didn’t quite look right. Like the picture above, I was aiming for a silhouette, like an old woodcut or illustration you might see in a children’s book from the 1950s. It was of the two main characters, Aurora and Logan, and Aurora is kissing Logan goodbye as he leaves the orphanage they grew up in for the Army. In this part of the book, Logan hasn’t quite hit his last growth spurt yet and is still shorter than Aurora. He ends up growing a lot over the next year and a half, but in the original drawing (c. 1998, on the left below), I always thought I drew him too small to be believable given his age, and he seems a little too stiff, like he’s on trial or something. So for the updated 2015 version (on the right), I made him a bit taller, but more slouched and ganglier, less confident. He’s the same guy who later becomes the daring flying man in the picture above, so he eventually fills out in body and spirit, but at this point in the story, he’s still more boy and man, which is what I was trying to convey all along.
So this was the fun part of editing. Hopefully, people who purchased the original on Kindle will be able to re-sync their devices and get the new updates, just like a software patch for a game. I’m still learning how Amazon does this myself, but they discuss it on their Kindle publishing page. I’ll be looking forward to seeing them in person myself!
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