I wish I knew.
You learn a lot of unexpected things when you sit down to write a book – including how much you don’t know, and how blind you can be.
I’ve had a career in which I did a lot of writing and reviewing documents. I’m a good proofreader. Or so I believed. I’ve been through Seducing Adam, my first book, so many times I recite it in my sleep. There can’t be anything left to improve, can there?
Well, on the verge of finalizing the cover and sending it off to Kindle for publication, I decided to take one last step. I’d already read it (over and over) on my computer screen, with various levels of magnification. I’d converted it to an ebook and read it on my tablet. I’d had two advance readers read it. I thought I’d covered the bases. But, just to be sure, I decided to take absolutely everybody’s advice and print it out.
Now, printing a document over two hundred pages long is a challenge for me. All that paper, all that ink … I must have a miser in my heritage somewhere. Maybe it’s that these pages will end up in the shredder? But when you get right down to it, writing is a relatively inexpensive thing to do, once you have the computer (or the pen and pad – but I’m too impatient for that). You just sit down and do it.
I’m not always a miser. It’s sort of embarrassing, how much I’ve spent on beads to make jewelry (which I almost never wear, but that’s another story). But with the thought of my cabinets of beads tickling my brain, I recognized the utter absurdity of worrying about printing a stack of pages. I piled a the cheapest printer paper the office supply store had in stock into my printer – and ended up with a blue binder full of more changes than I could have imagined possible.
Yes, there were a few typos, weird grammar tenses, and wonky punctuations, but not all that many. Mostly, the changes had to do with improving the wording, sorting out logical inconsistencies (scenes out of order, characters knowing something they logically couldn’t know, etc.), adding to the background descriptions … sigh. Not done after all.
So Seducing Adam isn’t going to be out as soon as I’d hoped it would, and I’m working to convince myself that it’s a journey, right? Not the destination. That I’m having fun with all this.
One thing’s for sure. You have to love your book. You have to believe in it, believe that someone out there will be as crazy for it as you will. You have to believe that the work you do will enrich someone’ s life, bring a little happiness or enlightenment into it. Otherwise, why do it? Because it’s a joy, but it’s work, too.
Well, most of the changes are done now, but I’m not entirely out of tweaking mode yet. In the meantime, I’ve added a board for Seducing Adam to Pinterest, so you can get a feel for the Pacific Northwest island environment. Have a look! It’s at http://pinterest.com/lizanncarson .
November 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm
So true, LizAnn, If it’s not fun anymore, we’re doing something wrong 🙂 Great idea about printing out the pages, though I agree, the cost of ink tends to dissuade me. Your Pinterest board looks good, I followed. Enjoy the journey my friend.
November 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm
Congratulations! It’s a lot of work but enjoy the ride.