Sinuses, man. ANYWAY.
[This is part 6 of a summary of Spookygirl’s journey toward publication. Use the Progress tag to access all related entries.]
One thing I quickly learned about editing: Every time you think you’re done, there’ll be one more suggestion to act on, one more alternative to consider, one more change to okay.
After working with Julie Strauss-Gabel on the initial major revision of Spookygirl, I worked with Liza Kaplan to clean up the details and get things polished. After a few more minor revisions (mostly involving the locker room storyline), we moved on to the line edit.
I had no idea what to expect from that, but the process was kind of fascinating. After Liza sent me a copy of the manuscript with lots and lots of notations about minor changes and small suggestions (usually several per page), I quickly learned how to use the Track Changes feature in Word. I approved, declined, or acted on each detail as necessary. Most pages weren't nearly as marked up as that screencap up there, but that gives you an idea of the process. Every change -- even the addition of a comma or the correction of a spelling error -- got its own notation.
So we got through all that. Then we did it all again. Oh yes.
Then came the copyedit (done by Rosanne Lauer), which was essentially more of the same, only on an even more detail-oriented level.
You know how, if you repeat a word over and over, eventually it sounds like nonsense in your head? Imagine going through your entire manuscript over and over until your story feels just like that.
Again, everything we did made the final story stronger, and that’s a great thing to realize. The only times Liza and I butted heads were over tiny things like keeping a line about a character's t-shirt, or whether Dutton's preferred style guide required us to spell out longer numbers in dialogue.
(Oh, that t-shirt. That could be another blog entry all on its own. I wasn't about to lose Peter's favorite geeky tee.)
Up next: Dedication, acknowledgments, author photo.