The day after I posted the last update, the second lot of editor’s comments on my novella arrived. I thought there’d be fewer than in the first round. (Cue laughter.) Either I have no idea how to punctuate, or US punctuation is very, very different from UK punctuation. I’m standing by the latter idea, as it’s better for my self esteem.
There’s also the little matter of me writing British English, and the story having to be converted to American spellings and style guides. The publisher’s American, you see. Naturally, they adhere to American standards. Can’t argue with that. But it means they’ve pointed out every single departure from those standards. I’m grateful, but that’s a lot of changes to make.
There’s this amazing thing, an absolutely wonderful thing I’ve found during the editing so far. As I’ve looked at and addressed the comments—the places where the editors have found holes, where they’ve questioned word choices, spotted repetition, noticed weak words and structures—I’ve seen the story improve immeasurably in front of my eyes.
It’s as if I was a sculptor who turned up with a hunk of rock, from which I’d chipped off bits to reveal a rough approximation of a human shape. The editors have pointed out where I need to cut a little more, where I need to shape, and helped me polish and smooth it until an actual sculpture appears. I’m sitting and looking at it, after only two rounds of editing, and going, “Wow!” at my screen.
There’s likely to be at least one more set of comments, from a third editor. I wonder what they’ll see, where else I can improve the way the story’s told. I almost can’t wait. It may be incredibly hard work, but it’s so worthwhile.
See you later