Thursday 8 March 2012

The Final Edit – does it really exist?

My novel for young adults, Spooking, comes out on 13 April with Crooked Cat. I’m currently checking the final edits. This is a combination of accepting – mainly – those suggested by the editor and adding a few of my own. We’ve used Track Changes, but I’m currently reading out loud a “clean” version of the text – and notice that a few new mistakes have crept in – probably because it’s hard to see the text properly with the changes showing.  
Now, this novel has been around a while. I completed it in 2009 and it has gone out to a few agents and editors. I’ve had some positive rejections, including one from an agent who read the full script and said “I liked it but I didn’t love it. If you don’t get this placed, please send us your next one.” Naturally, I’m delighted that Crooked Cat like it. I’ve considered every bit of feedback I’ve been given and in many cases followed suggestions or reworked bits that others thought were not working. And I’m still tinkering. I’ll have to stop early next week: Crooked Cat want it back then.
I have a similar novel, Veiled Dreams, that I also want to get out and am actually making some changes to that in view of the comments made by Crooked Cat on Spooking. An agent recently said she though the narrative voice was a little odd. All of a sudden I’m agreeing with her. This novel has also been tucked away for many months and it was pretty well perfect when I put it to bed, I’d thought. Even my beta-readers had agreed. Yet now I’m making changes.
The latest novel is generally the best and I have high hopes for Potatoes in Spring. I have just a handful of edits to do on this, including the read out loud one. I wonder how long it will be before another one is better?
And so we go on learning. Thank goodness for editors. They save us from ourselves when we get too bogged down with all of this. And if it wasn’t for that deadline they gave us, we’d go on forever. Indeed, I’ve been known to edit as I read out my work at events.    

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