Thursday, July 01, 2010

Line Edits

I'm sitting here in the peaceful moments before my day gets crazy. The girls are still asleep. The dogs haven't figured out I'm awake yet and aren't begging me for food. The cats are still curled up in their hidey holes and haven't started rubbing their little ears in my face wanting attention. This is complete bliss and I know it'll only last for about the next five I better type fast. :-)

I'm in the middle of line edits for my next Blaze. This is the point in the writing process that always makes me feel like an idiot. This is where all my nasty grammar habits come to the surface. It's where those stupid typos that I should have caught the last twenty times I read the manuscript become glaringly obvious and I want to kick myself because I didn't catch them before. This is where my wonderful editor points out those pesky time line problems that I've been conveniently ignoring and - gasp and shudder - she makes me fix them.

Honestly though, I've always found the line edit stage interesting. There are strange, alien marks on my book that require a separate Internet Explore page with a key for things like squiggly lines and random dots. But this is also my last chance to make the book right. It's my last opportunity to fix any problems because after this the words are set in stone. For a book that will hit the shelves in January, my last chance to tweak it is the beginning of July.

The moment I finish line edits is always a little bittersweet. I'm happy that my work on the project is complete and that the next time I see the story it will have a pretty cover and my name in big letters on the front. But I've usually spent the last several months working hard to make the project the strongest that it can possibly be. With each book I grow as a writer and I can see that development as I go through the edits. I'm happy and sad at the same time when I turn over that last page.

So, I'll hopefully be finishing up my line edits this weekend (alone with celebrating my twelfth anniversary tomorrow). An excellent way to spend the holiday.



robertsonreads said...

Good luck with your line edits. And Happy Anniversary!!!

Today is my Friday and I am taking a vacation day Tuesday, so I will have a nice longggg weekend.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

Stephanie said...

I really admire your attitude about a part of the job that you don't enjoy, line edits. I thought when I started reading that you were going one direction but when I kept reading you went a differnt direction. It was very inspirational to read how you take that task and learn to grow through it.

You are always so great about sharing your cool thoughts with us.

Happy Anniversary!!

Playground Monitor said...

When the rest of us get to the stage where we have line edits, we'll know who to come to for help with those strange squiggly marks. ~grin~

Happy anniversary!

Julie Miller said...

Congrats on getting another book done! It is a bittersweet feeling to know it's completely out of your hands once the line edits are done.

Happy Anniversary. And enjoy the peace and quiet while you can!

Maven Linda said...

Line edits can send me straight into a stomping, throwing, roaring temper tantrum -- but at the same time, I've learned more about writing from line edits than I have any other way. That very first line edit was a real eye-opener.

A good editor is with her weight in gold.

And I always enjoy that last chance to tie up the loose ends I'd forgotten, to straighten out the problem that slipped past me, to strengthen the weak parts.

Problem Child said...

My last set of edits, I realized I had an ellipsis habit that really needed to be broken. It was pretty bad...


Awesome! My word verif is "proofall." Very appropos!

Christine said...

Congratulations regarding the new book! Can't wait to see it out on the stands. And happy 12th anniversary. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!