First off, let me be the last to wish you all a Happy New Year. My holiday was good and long, and that was important, because the holiday also coincided with my doing the final edits on the new novel. While I was out and about in the world (i.e. away from my desk) people were asking me what that meant, and so I decided it should be an entry into my series of posts about what happens next.
I love doing final edits. First of all, it means that if you have gotten to that point, then your editor/publisher is already happy with your manuscript. Now it has to be perfected. For me, that means using a totally different part of my brain. This is when you look one last time, very, very closely, to find any last minute incongruities, inconsistencies, clunky prose, silly metaphors. Now is when we take out that fine toothed comb and really give the work one last, close look. I do it by reading out loud, slowly, word for word, with a pencil in my hand and a promise in my heart to stop whenever something sounds weird, or some question is raised. It’s fun, but difficult, and not a small bit scary.
This time around, it was especially scary for me because I hadn’t even given the manuscript a cursory glance in over a year. That’s actually very good news for my publisher, Ward Wood. It means they are busy bringing out other books, adding to their “stable” of authors, growing. My book was in a queue and I had to wait. But as difficult as that may have been, it actually was good news for me, too. Distance is key when you’re doing final edits. Only by letting some time pass can you see what is really on the page and not just what you think is on the page. It can bring up some nasty surprises, but that’s the whole point of the final edit stage. As they say, speak now or forever hold your peace.
So, the final edits are now done. Out of the Ruins now weighs in at just a shade over 96,125 words or 227 manuscript pages. It feels like a book to me, and I’m getting very excited. But we’re not done yet. Next stop, setting the pr wheels in motion.
The other posts in this series can be found here:
The Website
How to Wait
What’s a Book Rep?
The Head Shot
The Cover and the Blurb