The Joy of Editing (2)
Sunday, 18 June 2017
Well I said it would hurt, and it did.
Though the amendments to Ruth and Elsie's stories weren't too bad, amending Rachel's letters was much more challenging. I knew Scott was right in that I had to cut a lot of words to make them less 'novely' and more 'lettery'.But oh it was a struggle. For they were my words, which I had crafted lovingly over several years and they were beautiful. So there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth as I had to let them go.
After two months of toing and froing, I sent the manuscript back yesterday, 7,000 words lighter and, I think,much better for their loss. Thankfully Scott agreed, so now we're on to the next stage - copy editing - after which, proofs, a front cover and publication beckon.
Despite the word culls, it's been a great process, and I've really appreciated Scott's rigour - he hasn't let me get away with anything. Every writer needs an editor like that. He has also taught me great wisdom. I have discovered that I overuse the word 'whilst', pluralise 'roof' as 'rooves' when 'roofs' will do (product of a 70's education), put two spaces after full stops because I learnt to type on a typewriter, and, oh yes, mobile phones are banned in most country houses. Who knew?
So now this stage is finished, I have time to clear the decks sort out a couple of other writing projects and study for my exam on contract negotiations. Roll on the summer holidays, I think I've deserved them.
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