Thursday, February 3, 2011

Editing Gremlins

Received some notification of more errors in Angel Lost from my publisher. I've come to the conclusion that when no one is looking tiny and very ugly gremlins get into a manuscript or book and put typos and odd sounding sentences in, take out and put in punctuation where it doesn't belong.

To understand why I saying this you need to understand the process I went through.

1. I wrote the book.
2. I went back over it and rewrote.
3. I took each chapter to my critique group and the next day worked on the suggestions they gave. I didn't necessarily follow each one, but if someone made a comment or marked the page, I took a second look and usually did something.
4. When I was done, and had gone over it again, I ran the spell check and grammar check. Of course I didn't automatically change things because often what I'd written was exactly how I wanted it.
5. Then I went over the whole manuscript again.
6. I sent the manuscript to my first editor.
7. When it came back with her suggestions, I fixed some, others I left.
8. I sent the book off to my publisher.
9. I received the book back in galley form, printed it out and went over it carefully, looking for mistakes. Sent a list of corrections back to publisher.
10. After awhile, publisher sent me an uncorrected ARC. Of course one hopes that this ARC will be close to perfected. I went through the ARC carefully and found a bunch more errors. The gremlins had been at work.
11. I sent the corrections to the publisher.
12. Today I received a couple of emails from publisher with some questions about several sentences. Gremlins again.
13. I've sent the corrections back.
14. I have no doubt that by the time the book comes out in March the gremlins will have done a bit more of their dirty work.

For any of you not in the writing business, this gives you an idea of how close the timing gets to the actual publishing date. This is what makes it hard to plan ahead for promotional events where you must have books. Because I'm with two publishers, I can tell  you with certainty, that this is what happens more often than not.

Tomorrow I have a guest blogger, be sure to stop by and visit.

Marilyn
Books by Marilyn

5 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

Good luck, Marilyn. Hang in there. You'll beat those gremlins back!

kayspringsteen said...

Editing gremlins...they're like the shoemaker's elves...only not as nice.

Cheryl said...

I agree with you. No matter how many times I go over things, errors end up sneak in there. Curse those editing gremlins.

M.M. Gornell said...

It's a whole underground civilization where these gremlins live--an alternate universe that only warps into ours once a manuscript is sent someplace, i.e. the next editor, the publisher, the critique group. My favorite is when they switched on me--desert to dessert in a sentence about hot dry sand, and switched dessert to desert in a sentence about lemon cream pie on a diner carousel. Twice! They don't like an error free manuscript for some reason... Hang in there!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks, Nevets. Yes, Kay, those gremlins are evil. Cheryl, I know that no matter what I do, those gremlins will creep in with something else none of us noticed. The desert/dessert word swap I've seen in other place, Madeline.