Thursday, 1 September 2011

When Is A Galley Just Another Edit?


I have been offline for a while, [and still am really-this is being thrashed out at a tiny Internet cafe at the beach] which has given me time to complete the Galley Proof Worksheet for my latest novel, Culloden Spirit, coming out this month.

There is a problem with learning the craft of writing, because the more you write, the more you learn, and if you edit something you have written, say two years before, you are going to virtually re-write it.

When I began editing this manuscript, I made the mistake of only focusing on the specific areas my content and line editors pointed out to me. When the galley arrived I decided to do a final read through on my e-reader in search of those pesky commas and repeated words which crept in during the formatting.

I was horrified to find something I didn't like on almost every page, not necessarily grammatically wrong, but something that jarred with me, didn't sound like something my heroine would say, or well, was just plain wrong!  The Galley Proof Worksheet turned out long enough to qualify as another edit.

My publisher, the lovely Lea Schizas, hasn't exploded - yet - and if I know her she'll put this down to an exercise in making the story as good as it could be. Lucky for me.

The trouble is, I don't see this as a one off - when will I get it right? On the fourth, fifth or even sixth read-through? Or am I doing what I am supposed to, evolving as a writer with the more words I get down on paper?

2 comments:

Jen Black said...

Knowing when to stop tweaking is a skill in itself. At some point you've just got to go with the flow!

Alison Stuart said...

I've come to the conclusion that no matter how many times you look at a manuscript there will always be something that needs tweaking.

As Jen said, there comes a time when you just have to let it go!

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