Tuesday, 17 October 2017
So that's a wrap then...
There's a chance, I might get one last look, but after a proof reading marathon on Sunday, I have finished my last edit of 'Echo Hall'. Thirteen and a half years after I started thinking about it, and ten years after I tentatively started typing in our front room, I sat there again, carefully annotating the script for final changes.
Copy editing and proof reading are the most pernickety stages of the process. Having done all the big sweeping alterations, this last phase has been honing in on the fine detail. Does the National Trust really make you turn your mobile phone off?Yes (according to their website). Did I really mean cowslip? (Er...no, the copy editor was right, cow parsley every time)How come a character with a dodgy ankle kept striding through the countryside? And by the way it started off with a dodgy leg? (This was rightly picked up by the copy editor, and blow me, at proofs I still found him vaulting over stiles).
As for the language, well proof reading is a bugger for highlighting one's over-use of a word, sometimes in the same damn paragraph. And then of course, there are all the times a sentence could be re-worded more elegantly. I have done this so often, I've probably returned to the original form that I rejected about six edits back...
But...I'm done. At least I think I'm done. Although if I took another look I'd probably find something else.Which is why editors make us stop, otherwise books would never get published.
Talking of editors, I've been really lucky to work with a bunch of them. So huge thanks to Annabel White,Leonora Craig-Cohen, Gill Harvey and Monica Hope who've all worked so hard on these final stages. Also to Xander Cansell who manages the Unbound Digital list, and, to the wonderful Scott Pack,who did a fine job of the structural edits. The book is so much better because of you all.
Also a big shout out to Michael Roberts at Aberystwyth University Library who printed off proofs when I was a long way from home and had run out options (it's a long story). Thank you.
And finally many thanks to y'all without whom etc...Your books and your rewards will be with you in the near future. I hope you enjoy!