The good news is, “A Question of Time” was accepted by Clean Reads and I signed the contract last week. No matter how many times this happens, it’s still a thrill. I bet even Nora Roberts and James Patterson celebrate a new contract.
After the celebration, which involved a nice bottle of wine, I got to work on the edits. One of the suggestions is to turn on the paragraph mark (it’s on the menu bar in Word) and make sure there are no extra spaces at the end each paragraph.
I thought I would be very clever and do a find and replace, so I copied a paragraph mark with a space in front of it and replaced it with the same mark without the space (which is a little gray dot almost impossible to see).
My genius move deleted every space between every sentence. And I couldn’t undo it.
So for two days I have been going over the manuscript line by line and adding the spaces back.
Tedious, and hard on the eyes.
I don’t think that is what is meant by editing.
The good thing is that by doing this, I also notice some things I missed. I used some words so often I couldn’t help notice the repetition. So another search and replace, substituting several different words or phrases for the too-oft-used word.
And I caught a few discrepancies and corrected them.
I’m sure once I send in the pre-edited ms., a keen-eyed copy editor will find more errors and a content editor will make suggestions for clarity. I’m always happy for the help. I do want the book to be as error-free as possible.
I just finished a book by a very well-known and popular author published by a well-known publisher. It was riddled with errors, so much so that I didn’t enjoy the story, instead longing for a red pen so I could mark them. But it was a library book and I didn’t want to ruin it.
How does this happen?
I don’t know, but more and more often I read books that could have been improved by a once-over from someone well versed in basic English grammar. Do publishers think readers don’t notice?
So that makes me doubly glad to have been accepted by a publisher who believes in not one, or two, but three different editors going over the book before it is released.
Mistakes can still happen. Readers will still catch them.
But Clean Reads will do all that is possible to make certain they are few and far between.