Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Endless Editing

I'm entrenched in the editing process for my forthcoming release DEATH SCENE. Currently working on the fourth set of edits. Or is it the fifth? To be honest, I'm starting to lose count.

With this, my second published novel, at least I know what to expect. When SUFFER THE CHILDREN was going through the editing process, everything was new and exciting. Even when I got to the point that I'd read my own manuscript so often I though my eyeballs would start to bleed.

When the final finished version of SUFFER THE CHILDREN dropped into my inbox, a zipped folder containing all six formats, I was so excited to see my first published e-book I tried to open all six formats at once. Of course this was more than my old laptop could cope with, and it promptly crashed.

But apart from skimming through the first few pages to read the dedication, and the acknowledgements, and the blurb, and basking in the glory of being a published novelist, I never actually read that final version. I had read it so many times during the editing process I just couldn't bring myself to read it once more.

SUFFER THE CHILDREN is now loaded on to my e-reader, but still I haven't read that final version. Part of the reason is because of the aforementioned 'reading fatigue'. But another part is because even up to the galley stage I was still finding mistakes. In spite of the endless editing process I am sure mistakes still made it through to the final version, and I'm not sure I could bear to find them, now, when I can't do anything to correct them.

I understand the need for many rounds of edits. Each one makes the novel better, and picks up errors that have been missed in previous rounds. But the process can be exhausting - I have read this manuscript so many times now the characters are appearing in my dreams at night.

I wonder how long it will be before I can revisit SUFFER THE CHILDREN and actually read it, without the editing reflex action kicking in? Perhaps it might be a good thing to do when I'm finally done with edits for DEATH SCENE and want to take a break from it.

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