Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Fiction Day - Line Edits

OMG, I've never edited a book so intensely in my life! In four weeks, I edited that book from page 1 through 378 . . . three friggin' times!

For those who do not know, Wednesdays are when I speak about fiction. Rather, publishing fiction. Actually trying to sell fiction. And lately, my fiction conversations have been about  how traditional publishing works and why it takes so long to come to pass . . .  especially when it comes to my book.

I landed my contract with Bell Bridge Books in December 2010. In early spring, I received general comments the editor wanted me to consider. I made changes and shot the manuscript back. On August 2, I received detailed line edits. The editor's comments weren't so bad. We had a tiny difference in how Southerner's speak, but nothing major. I'm noted for beating deadlines with much room to spare, but when I started to send it back after embracing the suggested changes, she informed me that this was the only time I would have to make content alterations. And she wanted me to look at it hard some more.

Ooh. Content changes. Okay. I changed my deadline from August 15 to August 30 and hit the pages.

I went back and did an oral edit. Yep, 378 pages read aloud to my patient hubby who happens to love it when I read to him. And yes, the dear man caught things. A guy who prefers movies to books, noticed repetition and technical issues.

Then I went back and did what I deem a reader edit. I read the manuscript like a book for entertainment. When I tripped, I made notes. In essence, I smoothed out a zillion tiny edges. Think of it like a home-done fingernail manicure. It looks great, but when you rub those nails across nylon or gauze, the teeny snags catch. That's the type of "catches" I made this go-around.

And I finished it today. It's back in the editor's lap now. I swear I feel ten pounds lighter from the burden off my shoulders. Now I can reach those deadlines that I delayed and crammed down to the last minute.

And this new fear is growing in me I never expected. Hey, I'm a fairly tough girl. I can take hits. But now that this book is about to become reality, I can't help but meet people in my family and circle and freak about how they'll dislike it. But I'm working on that. I'm doing better. February might be another story, but, hey, I've got months to work on containing that feeling.

Now, the bigger issue . . . if I could only find out the title.

(OMG, I still can't believe I'm done. I swear I can recite this book by heart.)


Anonymous said...

How wonderful that your husband listened and was helpful.
Enjoy your freedom ;)

Julia Munroe Martin said...

EXCITING!!! Can't wait to hear more, can't wait until February!! Now are you going to Disneyland? :)

Alexis Grant said...

Can't wait to read it, Hope!

Cheryl Barker said...

Congrats on finishing the edits, Hope! Finishing projects is always such a good feeling. Enjoy!

BECKY said...

Wow! You are amazing, Hope! And what a fabulous husband you have, too. I'm learning so much from reading your blog. Thanks for helping us newbies, especially about things we'd never think of.
Best of luck with your book, and hey, I know you'll do fine in February! :)

Hope Clark said...

Thanks bunches, y'all. We'll see when the time comes!

Sally said...

The best of luck to you. How exciting to be at this stage. Kudos!