I've achieved a new mental state

I've discovered a new state of mind called Fear-Of-Returning-Edits-To-Editor. So instead I am obsessively looking for minute errors and second guessing myself. Fortunately I have sufficient self-control not to rewrite too many scenes.

Just kidding! Relax Janet & Kathleen. No scenes rewritten.

Actually I finished the edits 3 days ago and the changes to the ms are very minor. Then there are the bits around the edges: a character list and author note. They're done too. Since then I've been reading the changes and new writing over and over, tweaking a word or a phrase here and there.

So I have one final thing to write, and then I ship it: my acknowledgements.

Assuming Editor Kathleen approves my minor changes as the proper work of an insane person writer, next step (I think) is the ms goes to a copyeditor. The copyeditor will pore over the ms in minute detail, finding all the errors I missed when I pored over it in minute detail.

11 comments:

Lost Wanderer said...

Ah the obsession of editing! If perfect is a subjective thing, then there is much room for second guessing oneself.

Good luck with your edits.

Jm Diaz said...

It is a never ending process... I believe every story will always come across changes while editing. I understand your anxiety and wish you the best of luck!

Gary Corby said...

Thanks guys. Yes, I could edit forever. I think most writers could. I'm amazed whenever I read someone saying they'll send out their ms as soon as they finish it.

Yamile said...

There is a girl (I forgot her name) who commented on Nathan Brandsford' blog how she sent out her ms to her agent the day she finished it. The agent agreed to represent her, and she has a book deal. She must me a genius!

Gary Corby said...

Wow! She probably *is* a story-telling genius. I'll bet the agent made her do an edit before going out with it.

The only two great writers I know of who consistently didn't revise are Shakespeare and Robert Heinlein. I'm sure there are others but I don't know who.

Tabitha Bird said...

I wish I was at the stage of not re-writing whole scenes! I so wish...

Gary Corby said...

Tabitha, it might be hard for you to credit at this point, but it is actually easier to rewrite a scene than leave it alone.

There comes a point where all you're doing is rearranging the words and not making anything better, but it can be tricky to recognise the symptoms. I generally realize after three successive revisions are no better than the original. That doesn't mean the scene is perfect, it merely means it's as good as I can make it.

The Writer said...

I hate editing. I think if there were a hell and I was put in it, that could be the worst torment ever. To hand me a copy of one of my stories and a red pencil. Bad images. Must cleanse with a nice health first draft.

You're almost there Gary!

Chris Eldin said...

Your acks, huh? I can help with that. Start with me, give me a paragraph of course, then you can list as bullet points in smaller font your family, friends, agent, and editor.
Done.
heheheh
:-)

Sounds great!! Can't wait to see your book on the shelf!!
:-)

Jinx said...

I'm so excited for you, Gary! I can't wait to read this! =)

BTW, I could edit forever as well. Every time I read my MS, I find something to change. The wonderful perfectionist that I am.

Best of success to you!

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Chris and Jinx! I've finished the acknowledgments and now I'm second guessing myself on the author note (sigh).

Almost there!