Welcome all dreamers, fantasists, bibliophiles, and romantics. Join me Mondays and Fridays for speculation about other worlds, exploration of the human heart and soul in fiction and fact, sojourns in history and science, advice and tidbits in the realms of story, and thoughts on everything in between...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rule One of the Publishing Process

As promised, I will give you periodic glimpses into the experience of preparing for publication after signing a contract.

Since my last update, I’ve received a number of documents and forms to fill out in preparation for cover art, blurbs, marketing, and communication with my editor. After all this, my first major assignment was to go through the manuscript and do basic polishing. A lot of the steps on my editor’s checklist I used in my own edits prior to submission, but I’ve learned, or rather been reminded, of an important truth of writing: a work is never flawless. There is always room to improve and polish.

I had never considered Red and the Wolf flawless before—I don’t honestly hold so high an opinion of myself—but I thought it the best I could produce at the time. It’s amazing what a little distance and time can do to clarify or reveal in a work. Prior to this, the last time I’d touched Red and the Wolf for any sort of edits was early December 2011. Five months can do a lot to clear away the author’s blinders that arise from emotional closeness to a work, months of pouring through its pages, and the knowledge of all that the story should convey, even if it doesn’t.

But even as I say that no work is flawless, there is a caveat. In pursuit of a perfect manuscript, it’s easy to forget that at some point we must all move on. New stories will never be told if we’re stuck in only one.

So, Rule 1: Distance provides perspective, and no manuscript or story is flawless.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. A little distance and a humble, teachable spirit can produce wonders in a manuscript. I, too, went through the pre-editing process at Lyrical and was amazed to cut over 1000 words from a manuscript I did not think could be tightened any more. I'm glad I took the pre-edits seriously, and I'm so glad to have my novel handled with such care at Lyrical.