Update time! I finished chapter 20 of the draft manuscript about two weeks ago and just now completed the subsequent read-through (and edits) of the current manuscript.
It seems the largest number of corrections this time around were for word repeats. That’s where you use the same word more than once within too short a distance. Go, go, thesaurus! Or, too, you can correct that kind of thing by re-writing the offending sentences. That isn’t to say there weren’t other issues. I had to tweak a couple of places to keep the flow from one idea to the next feeling natural. That’s where I rearrange the sentences in paragraphs or rewrite them, or rearrange the order of the paragraphs themselves, that kind of thing. There was one spot where I actually cringed while reading a sentence. I have no idea what was going through my mind at the time, but I fixed it, immediately. In another place, the tension in a scene just wasn’t building fast enough for the reaction I wanted toward the end of a dialog exchange to make sense. The reaction felt out-of-place, so I re-wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote the exchange, but nothing seemed to work until I cut out nearly all the non-dialog narrative (as you can likely surmise from its name, that’s non-dialog text used to describe characters or their actions, or text that describes the scenery, what’s happening around the characters, etc). I also cut down one side of the dialog exchange to only short replies, but replies that allow the reader to still understand (I hope) how the character feels and have the character’s building tension and response at the end of that part of the dialog feel natural. I think it worked. It certainly feels much better to me, now.
I also realized that I had forgotten something that I wanted to continue to build on from the previous book. So, it seems I will add a new chapter somewhere earlier in the manuscript, along with a few scenes throughout. This ‘something’ won’t be just thrown in there, either. It ties nicely into one of the existing sub-plots and will make that plot even better. It also gave me an idea for possible inclusion in the next book. So, double bonus.
Anyway, on to writing the next chapter!