My Adventures In Editing – Part 5

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I can’t believe it’s December 10th and 2022 is winding down. So many setbacks this year have resulted in my goals being delayed. It’s been a struggle, but I am committed to seeing them become a reality, so I plug away at my own speed, which often resembles that of a turtle. Such is my life as a 50-year-old woman with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, plus the chronic fatigue and pain that develops as adults with CP get older. Add menopause to this and it really is the perfect storm. But, I digress…

My dream of publishing my first novel this year is no longer realistic. I have spent the last four months line editing my novel manuscript. This form of editing was new to me and I wondered what it would be like. Let me throw out two analogies: it’s a marathon, not a sprint; and it’s a little like crawling over ground glass. To all those line editors out there who do this day in and day out, I applaud you. I think it safe to say, any line editing I need in the future, will be done by a professional. Once is more than enough for me.

For those who do not know what line editing is, let me put it into a nutshell. I read through my novel manuscript one sentence at a time, and looked for a myriad of different little things: missed commas, periods, quotations, spelling errors, and extra spaces. Then I went back through that paragraph or dialogue, and checked for double words, missing words, repetitive phrasing, adjectives, clunky wording, etc. After that, I moved on to the first line of the next paragraph, and so on.

My story is a full-length novel… the kind I am used to reading, not the 150 page versions being published more frequently these days. I didn’t set out to write a long story, but a story must be told until it is complete, especially when it is not part of a series.

I was amazed at what my eyeballs missed in the first eight drafts; it is legitimately called word blindness. I found an error in timing and a few loose threads that needed to be finished. By the time I got to through the last page of my manuscript, it was 1,500 words longer!

During the process, I had a friend stop by, who is a very well known artist here in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. He offered to create the cover for my book in exchange for my help with outlining his book idea. I jumped at the chance, and am ecstatic about the results, but have put it on hold for now.

The ninth draft of my manuscript is with a professional proofreader for polishing. Once I get it back with her suggestions, I have to go through the manuscript for the final time. I know many self-published authors do not go to this extent with their editing, but I am determined to publish a polished story.

Once that is done, I can make decisions re: self-publishing and that is another steep learning curve for this author. Thankfully, I have many author friends to glean wisdom from. That being said, I have set the launch date for my Christian Contemporary novel.

Sister Lost will be released on February 1, 2023. Please pray against further delays. I appreciate the patience and support of the readers of this blog, and all the other writers, authors, friends, and family who are eagerly waiting to read it.

The next blog post about the progress of my novel will be about my adventures in publishing.

Stay tuned.

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