And that dear friends, says it all!
I really should be working on the final edit of my YA novel. It has no title at the moment, but for convenience sake, we’ll call it Lost and Found. It’s not a bad title, and encapsulates the story pretty well, but my editor – my patient, long-suffering, wonderful, brilliant editor – says the publisher will most probably (around 110% chance) change it.
I’m okay with that, but maybe a year or two ago I wouldn’t have been. No, make that ‘maybe’ a definite ‘wouldn’t’ have been okay with it. But you write and you learn – at least I hope you learn. My editor has had a field day with her blue editor’s pencil via Word’s reviewing/track changes option and I must admit, the first edit looked like a… well, I’m not sure what it looked like, but if I compare it to the corrections on a first grader’s 100,000 word essay on quantum physics you’ll get the picture.
But as I read through her suggestions, it became obvious why she is the editor and I am the writer. Of course there are some people who can wear both hats efficiently, and I have to say, my editor is one of them. Her ideas and suggestions on the path my MC should take were nothing short of amazing and I heard myself muttering: Now why didn’t I think of that?
If you read my last post, A Writer’s Nightmare I wish to state very, very clearly that the editor in that bares no similarity whatsoever to my own editor – except for the very last line.
So why, you may well ask, am I stuck in a rut with my wheels spinning? Well… it’s because I’m stuck in a rut with my wheels spinning. No, seriously, my mind is in a fog – actually it’s more than just in a fog, it’s completely blank; and anyone who knows anything about writing knows that a blank mind equals a blank page. In this case, a blank mind equals no final edit.
I know what I want to change, but how to do it when the changes can only be done with a whole heap of explaining in the reviewing pane about why part D needs changing so that it will gel with parts C, G and T. It’s not as straight forward as it seems because some of the explanations could run to an A4 page and that would look extremely messy. I’d hate for my poor editor to throw her hands in the air and say, ‘Lynnie, what are you doing; I can’t follow this.’
So dear readers, your suggestions would be very much appreciated. Do I…
- Put each explanation as a comment in the reviewing pane even though the comment might run over onto the next page.
- Do I put the explanation in the body of the work in a different colour?
- Do I send a separate document setting out explanations with a reference to the page it relates to?
- Or, do I just take the coward’s way out, throw my hands in the air and shred the thing – all five years’ work.