Yesterday, I emailed my third and final scene to my editor. She has already completed the deletions and sent me the “clean copy” and will be dropping the new scene in when I’ve finished my read-through. I must admit, when I saw the small pile of work, I gulped. Is that all that’s left of 200,000+ words and eighteen months of hard work? But then, it is single-spaced with wide margins, and not the double spaced manuscript format I submitted. Whew.
It’s always better for me to read the manuscript with all deletions completed so I can see if the characters and story track well or if the work needs more transitions to smooth over areas that have been plucked out. It’s also less heart-wrenching than to see 80.000 words red-lined out. My eye would go to what is being removed, rather than what remains. I trust my editor. Nothing I’ve written is sacrosanct, and readers are probably not as interested in the backstory (childhood) of three main characters as I was while writing. I needed to get to know them on a deep, intimate basis. Most readers want to get into the main body of the work. “Cut to the chase,” as they say, “Less is more.”
I’m taking the manuscript along on another up-coming trip, and will probably be reading it in airports and on planes. Once we start exploring, I’m going to enjoy living in the moment and absorbing all the sights and information coming at me. I will carry my iPad so I can answer editorial questions, or ask them. We’re all pushing to have the book ready for copy-editors and line editors by August 28, with an eye on a Spring 2014 release.
Creating a cover is a long process. I sent in my ideas, one that included Wohler Bridge in Sonoma County and a shot of Audrey Hepburn in capris and a white shirt. Much too busy. No room for a title, let alone the name of the author, me. My Tyndalean friends are always warm and polite and come up with something better. I’ve seen various covers over the past few weeks, each tweaked this way or that. Yesterday, I saw the favorite, and I have to say, I can see why. Hopefully, Tyndale will be posting it soon on the Facebook page.
I may write the book, but it takes a good editor to make it better, and a whole team of behind-the-scenes workers to get it into print and on the shelves.