Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Final Edit---Practically Perfect In Every Way

As I mentioned yesterday I've been doing the final edit and the book will go to press on Monday.  Yay!

It's always such an interesting process for me.  I go over the book a million times and I always think to myself, "it's perfect."  After all, I was a professional editor for many years, there can't be many mistakes in there.

Then my critique group goes over it and they always find mistakes, and, of course, I fix them.  And then I think, "it's perfect."

But when it goes out to beta readers, they inevitably find mistakes.  And I fix them.  And then I think, "now it's perfect."

And then my final editorial people read it and even with all the other eyes that have been over it, they still find mistakes.  Extra words, a typo, missing quotation marks, and the like.  So today, I am fixing all of those and I am thinking to myself, "after today, it will be perfect."

But the sad fact is, it will probably never be perfect.  But it will be as close as I can make it.  As Mary Poppins would say, "practically perfect in every way."  (Love that show.)

Which brings me to the point of this post---always have other people read your work.  Multiple people, if possible. It will amaze you what different people will find that needs to be fixed.  No matter how great of a writer you are, you can't see the mistakes because your mind will read what you meant to say.  Every author needs an editor.  At least every author who wants to have a polished product.  I am so grateful for the people in my life who so graciously read and edit and critique my work.  I wouldn't be where I am without them.  Worth their weight in gold!

I am so excited to be at this point in the process.  It's hard for me to believe this book is almost done, but I'm glad and sad all at once.  Mostly glad.  At least for today, being an author is wonderful as I finish up this practically perfect book.


Debra Erfert said...

I don't believe any book is absolutely perfect, but we must try as hard as we can. Right? I agree, we need others to read our manuscripts in order for our stories to be the best they can be. It's hard to ask. Sometimes it's embarrassing to get turned down. Ask anyway.

I'll be looking forward to seeing Colby's book in print. He's a great guy. I could use some of his cleaning tips.

Jon Spell said...

... and cinnamon rolls. =)

Perfection is a journey, not a destination, eh?

On the other hand... Matt 5:48.

I like the concept of the beta reader (and being one) in that you're so wrapped up in it and you know all the other things going on behind the scenes so you might not recognize that the reader needs to know some of that to get context.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I hadn't thought of that, but you're right, it's worth it to ask. And no giving away plot secrets. ;)

Jon, you too! And you make a good point. Thanks for the scripture, too! :)

Jordan McCollum said...

It's hard to ask, and even harder to send the MS out there!

I'd had my book through so many hands, and I still found so many weird mistakes in the proof copy.

Good luck on your quest for perfection!