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.