Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Art of Editing... aka... When To Stop

Did I mention I finished writing the second book in the Nate Rocks Series: Nate Rocks the Boat? It sounds so final, but in reality, there is so much more work to be done! For starters, I need to have the book professionally edited. So what’s the big deal? Just find an editor and send the manuscript off right? Well – sort of.

I do have an editor lined up, and I feel pretty confident that she will be able to make sure the final version of Nate Rocks the Boat is the best it can possibly be. But, I’m the type of person who has to make sure the manuscript is as close to perfect as possible, before I even think of handing it over to a set of professional eyes. (Meet my OCD, type A, neurotic side... yes – I’m that person who cleans before the cleaning person shows up.)

And so my endless editing now begins. It started with a run down (or twenty) of each chapter... taking notes so that I can make sure things flow and make sense. Why? Because I’m old and forgetful. Case in point: In this book, Nate goes to camp. In chapter one, I call it Camp Spring Ridge, further down it turns into Pine Tree Camp, with about five variations in between. I think I’ve got them all the same now – I think.

Step two in my editing process: The Reading. This is very important. I spend a day reading the entire book out loud. I always tell my kids to read their essays out loud to make sure they sound okay – let me tell you – this works! The audience is very important as well. Since none of the humans in my house seem willing to sit and listen to an entire book in one sitting (and really, I don’t blame them) I have to rely on the only other living beings in my house: my cats – two seven month old kittens. If they fall asleep or run away during the first chapter, I know I’m in trouble.

Once we make it all the way to the end without so much as a yawn, then I know we are good to send the manuscript off to the editor. And this is where I am today.... wish me (and the kittens) luck!

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