I just wrapped up the edits to UNBREAKABLE, book one in The Chronicles of Promise Paen, and Tor accepted it for publication. Thank you God!
Sometime during the Winter of 2015. Date to come. And I learned a few things along the way.
Track changes in MS Word is powerful and it will save you hours. After your first good draft is on-screen (defined as quality writing that still needs work), instead of making changes right away - particularly large changes like swapping chapters and rewriting key elements of the plot - set the manuscript aside for a few weeks. Let it, and your mind, rest. Then go back for another read. Make notes as you "read through" the entire manuscript because you're probably looking at a substantial amount of re-working. And your initial thoughts may not be your final thoughts. Expect them not to be. Make notes as you go, read through to "the end" (but please don't be so obvious), then go back and reread your notes. Revise them first, then your book. You may decide to nix certain ideas, replace them with others. Doing this will save you even more hours.
Create a "Cast of characters." Record every habit, eye color, saying, and factoid about each of your characters. Major, even minor. That way, you don't turn your leading blond into a brunette, or discover she grew a pair and became a he. Yup, happened. And note when you "off" someone. Just saying.
As you world-build, draft a legend or key. If men's hair is fashionably long, note that. If you're writing Mil SF like I am, details about uniforms and weapons matter and culture can make or break your book, particularly if you're inconsistent. In Promise's world, the "Lusies" say "All Hands To Action Stations." But not the "Publicans." It's "All Hands to Battle Stations" for them. The difference matters.
Watch your date stamps too. Lay them out chronologically so you don't jump days unnecessarily or hop back in time. I created a one-to-three-sentence synopsis of each chapter, in order, which was invaluable. For instance, wounds take time to heal, some more than others. You have to allow for that in your writing. Unless there's "quickheal." Then it doesn't matter, but that's an altogether different matter.
Bottom line...If the detail is important, write...it...down, because writing fiction is hard and you can't possible keep all the details in your head. That's a sure recipe for #authorfail. At least I can't. Wasn't born with that gift and you probably weren't either.