Birth Pains

So, here it is almost September, and I am now awaiting the second full proof (all 571 pages) of Caissons.  As if editing it word by word one time was not enough, I now await this arduous task once again, and with a growing sense of urgency.

Here’s how it went down the first time around.  When CreateSpace emailed me that the file was ready, I quickly pulled out my new flash drive and downloaded it. I returned from Staples within the hour with a full print-out in hand.  It was very exciting to lay it out on a table and see all the facing pages just as they would be in my book!  I divided it in half and gave the second half to Shirley, my editor, and we both went to work.  It’s so interesting how two people approach the job of editing so differently and yet seem to ultimately complement each other.  I had warned her I was allowed 80 corrections without additional fees being applied.

Well, I found a number of places where I had used words of songs or poems, but had never sought permission to do so; I also picked up on a few facts I wanted to be sure of or to reword; and caught some missing words and punctuation.  Shirley is big on sentence structure and the use of parallel forms; she also finds ways to cut down on lengthy sentences.  Although she had been through the entire novel once already, she found more ways to make it better.

In three days we traded halves.  It was exhausting, but we completed the edit in a week.  Bleary-eyed, I set about combining our two lists of corrections/changes/and “possible” changes.  There were over 160!  Several of which would require considerable rewrite where I dropped the use of lines of poetry, etc.  What to do?  Two calls to CreateSpace left me with the choice of making the corrections (with fees) on the form provided, or making the corrections myself in my original document and resubmitting it ($199).  I chose the latter.  It took about 5-6 hours but I think it was time well spent.  My biggest fear is that the formatting, that we worked so hard to perfect, will suffer in the re-do.  I have been assured by three members of my project team that this is not a problem.  So, now I wait, impatiently, for the second full interior file to arrive.  To be continued.