I've been working my way through the first thirty percent of LESSONS LEARNED THE HARD WAY this week, and I have to say, I've been pleasantly surprised. This non-fiction manuscript was pieced together over an extended period of time, and I was concerned it would read like three or four different people had written it -- it didn't. I was also concerned about long digressions, or overly complicated explanations, but I'm finding little of this so far.
LESSONS is a bit different from anything I've tried to write before -- it is a collection of different experiences taken from a ten year period in my career. And while there are connections between the various chapters, each one needs to more or less stand alone. That means I can't necessarily expect the reader to have already consumed the description of a particular product or market when reading deeper in the manuscript. The descriptions need to be short, to the point, and not in the degree of depth I might otherwise like, in order to prevent the work becomes overly long and repetitive.
This aspect of editing has been somewhat challenging, and because I lived these experiences, I'll be looking for someone who didn't to eventually read it and see if it makes sense without being boring.
The only other major problem I'm finding so far, is the excessive number of characters -- around fifty so far, with another twenty-five or more still to be introduced in later chapters. I think some will have to simply be written out, even though it changes certain aspects of the tales from fact to fiction. In a few cases I may be able to refer to characters by their job titles, particularly if they make one or two short appearances in the book.
So onward to the balance of LESSONS, even as I also work on Step 6 in the design process for EMPOWERED.