Wow, did I ever have no freaking clue what I was getting myself into.
My novel is over 100,000 words, which is almost 400 pages of double-spaced, Times New Roman manuscript. And I seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take take for me to comb through 400 pages (and also, you know, keep my day job).
So what exactly did I learn during this long, painful process?
Well, to start with: Typos.
So. Many. Typos.
And I found inconsistencies – a window that was open during a February scene, or a meal that started as ribs and ended up as smoked fish. A student who had two different names in the space of three paragraphs.
I also read the fabulous and very helpful book Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon, and I incorporated much of her advice. (Yes, I’m the type of person who believes you can read a book to find the answer to any and every question in life.)
I used riff writing to expand on my character’s emotional reactions. I changed my vocabulary to be more reflective of my neurotic, overeducated protagonist, Caroline Capello.
Basically, I spent the last three months obsessing over every word. And I mean Every. Word.
And then, one sunny morning at a cute, local coffee shop, I finished editing the printed manuscript. A few days later, I finished making those changes to the electronic version.
Then the hard part: Calling it done.
Sending the manuscript off to my wonderful and very patient graphic designer, Kit Foster, means It. Is. Done.
I can’t keep obsessing over that one scene. I can’t wake up at 3 in the morning and change two lines of dialog.
It’s time for me to just…
So what am I going to obsess about now?
Oh yeah, the sequel…
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