Last Sunday at our writer’s meeting, a forum which is part pat-on-the-back, part kick-in-the-pants, I announced that, barring any unforeseen obstacles, my first novel would be on Kindle with the final book cover and the last edit. Tim Giron quickly pointed out I had left lots of leeway for not getting it done with the qualifier about “unforeseen obstacles”. He wasn’t the only skeptical person at the table.
See, for the past six months, every time someone asked about the progress of my book, I held up my hand to show about half an inch of space between my index finger and my thumb, saying “It’s this close.”
But this time it was close. After an Editorial Review and the revisions that followed, then a Copy Edit review by an English teacher, and another fresh read by a friend who’d never seen the material before, and then reciting all 100,000 words out loud, I’d handed over the manuscript for one final Proof Edit.
My Proof Editor (aka The Nit-Pick) had completed her review. She’d sent her notes in a file format that was hard to read. We arranged to meet on Monday evening with the expectation there would be a quick once over of the changes, an exchange of funds and the book would be ready for publishing.
In preparation for this last step, I’d deciphered about two-thirds of the changes she’d recommended, and made the revisions. The rest were minor adjustments, style differences by and large.
I arrived forty-five minutes early, eager to get started, very much feeling the finality of soon to be ending this long drawn out process.
She arrived and announced that she lost all her notes in electronic format (don’t ask how). To compensate, she’d started re-reading the book. Then she explained that she had found even more things to question and had accumulated twice as many edits as before with less than half the novel read.
Once again I had fallen into Editing Hell.
Two hours into our review and I was losing my grip on reality. I looked down at the pages of the Nit-Pick’s tiny, hand-written notes about moving commas and word choices and realized we weren’t even through Chapter Six yet.
I grabbed her arm and said “It’s done. No more editing.”
So, stop reading this and go check it out. It’s live now, warts and all.
- Professional Editing? (the-view-outside.com)
- Self-Publishing – Thoughts by a Book Reviewer (readerjots.wordpress.com)
- Five Dos and Don’ts for Picking an Editor (omnivoracious.com)
- 9 Things I Learned From My Copy-Edit (michelleproulx.wordpress.com)