It's that time of year. No, not Spring, honestly I've been living in my cave so long I'm not sure the year, let alone the season, I'm taking about edits. A few months ago, I completed a manuscript and sent it to Sourcebooks with a sense of relief and a strong desire never to see it again (that writing part gets a little intense when up against a deadline).
Now my precious manuscript has come back around for editing and I have welcomed her home like the prodigal son. And much like the prodigal son I realize I have some work to do. When I read my editing notes I discovered that apparently my characters collapsed into chairs over FIFTY times! I had no idea my characters were so unstable!
Editing. So important. Despite the fact that I read and re-read and re-read everything before I send it out the door, there is no way I can catch every mistake. Like my poor collapsing characters, I don't always see what is painfully obvious. I know what I meant to say, so I read it the way I intended, not necessarily the way I wrote it. This occasionally leads to grammatical errors, leaving out small words, plot problems, and yes, even collapsing characters. These errors may seem minor, but let's face it, one clunky sentence and readers are switching to angry birds, sometimes without even putting down their mobile device.
It is interesting to me that the process of writing is completely different for me than the process of editing. When I am writing I want to turn off that internal editor and let the words flow (or shall we say 'collapse') on the page. When I am in editing mode, I need to be the angry school marm smacking grammatical errors and awkward sentences with a ruler and shaming them into the corner.
As I beat my next manuscript into submission, I take some comfort in the thought that once the pain of editing is complete, my shiny new manuscript will someday be polished enough to turn into a real live book. My next book, A Wedding in Springtime, will be released in May. Don't you love the cover? Oh yes, it is all worth it!