Sunday, February 27, 2011

Editing Woes

Yesterday, I took a freshly printed copy of my children's book to the coffee shop at the local bookstore.  Before I left, I imagined I would sip a cup of green tea or a delicious latte with my feet up on a chair while I took a red pen to the manuscript to fix the changes I need to make to the timeline.  I imagined I would get through the entire manuscript in 2 or maybe 3 hours. 

It turns out that it took me way too long to get my snacks and profoundly longer to get the chapters edited.  I spent about 30 minutes, maybe more, deciding on the timeline.  I made a critical error in my story - fireflies showed themselves at an unrealistic time.  There are no fireflies in the spring.  In my story there are.  I can't take out the fireflies, since they are pivotal to the plot (seriously) - so I had to move everything forward to summer.  There's a flashback in the story that made this rearranging of time much more complicated than it otherwise would have been. 

Once I decided on the timeline and documented the changes, I read through the chapters.  As I read, I noticed other things that needed to be changed.  Not huge changes, but plenty of them.  In two hours after arriving at the coffee shop and ordering my green tea, I was mentally done and was only through the edits for three chapters - three.  I have twenty chapters total.  Maybe the latte would have been a better choice - maybe it would have given me more energy. 

Later yesterday evening, I typed up the time frame changes and added the other potential issues I found to my issue log to deal with later and marked the issue number on the newly printed manuscript because that's the way I roll.  (See the software development entries.)

Realistically, it could take six more trips to the coffee shop to finish up just the edits for the timeline.  Yikes.  I am exhausted thinking about it and think I will definitely take a day off today.  The problem with editing is that you need momentum or run the risk of having to read it again from the beginning.

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