The copy edit journey continues…

My first reaction to the editor’s report was cocky with a self-gratifying ‘pat yourself on the back.’  Okay, there were some minor plot holes to correct, but otherwise, not a bad report card I thought. Then I opened up the edited manuscript.

Da, Da, Daaaa…

Myself self-affirming pat on the back turned into a slap on the forehead accompanied by deep breaths and tissues to wipe away the tears.

Now, remember for over eighteen months, I have sweated bullets, broken fingernails, and worn my fingertips to the bone on the keyboard writing this manuscript to a point where I felt confident enough to hand it over to an editor. Some may ask what is the big deal? Well, try to imagine handing your first born over to a tyrannical monarch and you’ll get the idea. So I set about reviewing the notes, changes and error corrections with a dispassionate eye.

No doubt, some may ask what is the big deal? Well, try to imagine handing your first born over to a tyrannical monarch and you’ll get the idea. So I set about reviewing the notes, changes and error corrections with a dispassionate eye.

Well, try to imagine handing your first born over to a tyrannical monarch and you’ll get the idea.

Be cool I thought, and let the inner Vulcan rise forth when you read the edit, I thought. I mean you’ve put it through two grammar and editing programs, you’ve revied it and re-read it, and re-run it through the programs a chapter at a time, so how bad can it be? Okay, now armed with a Zen mindset I began to review the notes, changes and error corrections with a dispassionate eye.

Can you guess how long the emotionless review lasted? Yep, not bloody long at all. The farther I read, the more I resembled Dr. Jekyle and Mr. Hydes love child. Then I remembered what TM Clark said at a small seminar I attended. With shoulders straight and a set to the jaw, I said to myself, “come on AJ time to swallowed a class of cement and harden the F*** up!”

I opened up the document and started again. Sure enough, within two pages I had the definitive ‘light bulb’ moment. I began looking at the pages with a new fresh eye. My resistive and emotive comments became accepting and understanding. I quickly learned to appreciate all the effort Lorin put into her work on the manuscript.

Now, two weeks and two-thirds of the way through, I have kicked some decent goals. No more Blues for this Maroon because the last third of the manuscript will win the series.

Goals to Date: –  I have reduced the word count by 1000 words. I also flipped many of my more passive sentences and addressed the plot holes.

So, you are never too old to learn, and humble pie can taste good.

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