Thursday, September 4, 2008
BRING ON THE COPYEDITOR!
So I sent my editor (Carolyn Yoder) the "final" copy of COMFORT in January. Of course I knew it wasn't actually final. But still, I keep hoping that I'm improving at getting it right the first time.
A few years ago I participated in a Heart of the Novel workshop with Patricia Gauch. I remember so clearly how she'd stop in the middle of her instruction and say to us, "You can do this! You don't need me." (or something to that effect!)
I took that to mean, I'm giving you the tools. Now go use them. You can do this on your own! And I believed her. And now that I've had my editor's guiding hand on two novels (Blue and Healing Water) I think, surely I can do this.
Oh, sure I expected COMFORT to need some tweakings here and there but I also thought I'd wow Carolyn with the first read!
Is it my imagination or has she asked me for just as many revisions as when we worked on Blue? Why has it taken 7 months for me to get this right?
Part of the problem is my schedule. Finding time to revise is harder than when I was writing Blue. My writing attentions are divided between marketing, speaking engagements, research, and revisions. So we can blame it on the clock which doesn't understand that I need more hours!
But I also have to admit that I can't write a book by myself. I need my editor. Maybe I did wow her with that first read. After all, she gave me a contract. And she's read it so many times she probably needs a creme brulee in hand just to make herself look at it again. She wouldn't invest so much time in something that she didn't already love. Right?
But she also saw some gaps. She called them to my attention and I didn't necessarily fill them completely on the first revision. There were more cracks and corners that needed touching up!
Maybe there still are. But yesterday she emailed me to say that it goes to the copyeditor this week.
The copyeditor?! Really? This week!?
Whew - maybe, just maybe now we are down to tweaking!
And you know what? I am ready for the nitty gritty of obscure grammar rules and the subtleties of word choice. And commas - although I gladly give those to someone else to decide!
And maybe I'm even ready to reread the manuscript a gazillion more times. Because after all, it's never really final. (almost never, anyway!)
I think publication is in sight!