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Friday, December 5, 2014

November 17th Diary Entry echoed from Facebook

#amwriting Here I am, ready to edit draft 4 of Book #5, "The Owl from Oblivion", 134,311 words/552 trade hardback pages. I got a new high speed, high volume color laser printer and I finally got to try it out with this draft. During writing/editing, I always work in the 6x9 trade format because it allows room, when printed on regular sized paper, for comments/insertions/added text to be written in. This draft has all the corrections from relatives (who have read large quantities of sci-fi for decades) and changes due to their feedback. The edit of this draft in paper form allows me to see the whole story and how it is coming together. This is the last edit before it goes for the first professional edit. I'm getting pressed for time because I really want to get the feedback/marked manuscript back from the editor before Christmas. The way the professional editing works is that I submit the manuscript and 3 weeks later I get the marked up manuscript back. What's happened in the past is that I read the markups, get furious, and want to throw the whole thing in the trash. I set the manuscript down for 2 or 3 days to let the anger fade and then I pick it up and start work. Besides all the normal English junk that gets marked, the editor is very good at finding the jugular of the story and pointing it out to me. There are usually recommendations on how to raise the tension and drama. So going through the editor comments and making the changes usually takes about 1.5 months but given how long this manuscript is, probably 2 months. When I finally make it through the changes, the book sounds so good! And then I get to start the process again because there will be a second pass made by the professional editor. And then the final proofing pass by the editor. The four drafts so far have been a tremendous amount of work and terrifying because this book is way more intense than any of the previous ones. But that is nothing compared to the real slog that begins with the professional editing process. There is one bit of pleasure in the process. If the editor gets shocked by something they read, they usually say so. I count those. It's like a game scorecard.

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