Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Manuscript Makeover Madness Month

May is Manuscript Makeover Madness Month. My personal goal is to have Remember Newvember completely edited, formatted and ready for printing by the end of May. Considering I have been hard at work on this novel since November 2009 it should be pretty close to perfection.
Should be . . .
The first round of editing was easy – I simply reworked the rough draft, written in just 30 days, so that it had better continuity with a fully developed story line. There were a few places that needed more back story, character development and of course polishing. The second draft did not pass a ‘fine edits’ inspection, so with the help of a very dedicated friend, I set to work correcting grammar, spelling and inconsistencies. By the summer of 2010, I thought I had a nearly finished copy of Remember Newvember.

So, I sent it off to CreateSpace for a little self-publishing exercise. When my proof copy arrived in the mail, I expected to have a few small errors to correct, perhaps some formatting issues to adjust. I had no idea that the book would require a complete over-haul. You see things in a “published” book you might not see on the screen of your laptop, or in the text of an 8.5 x 11 print-out.
With determination I got out my orange sticky-notes and started my first round of corrections. When I was finished, my sister “borrowed” the book and made her own notes with blue sticky-notes. Following her editing attempt, I handed the book over to my official proof-reader with confidence, knowing she wouldn’t find too many additional mistakes.

Her sticky notes started out pink; when she ran out, she switched to purple. I can probably count on one hand the number of pages that did not require corrections of any sort. Currently, I am diligently plodding through those corrections. As I do, I find more things to adjust: awkward sentences, run-on sentences, over-used words, strange expressions, vague character descriptions. . .
The list seems endless, but I am determined to complete it and publish it so I can focus on completing my next book. Which, of course, means I will be starting the entire process all over again.

1 comment:

  1. Keep on trucking! I'm pretty sure that I'll be facing something similar when I get through writing MY book, but I'm sure that we'll both reach the end of this very long tunnel eventually.