Revision 3d…

I’m editing again.

It started out as rereading. Revision 3c was completed in November, 2021. This is the beautifully clean version I was ready to give an editor, when I find one. It’s also the version I gave to several people to read, including a friend who told me she “devoured it… could not put it down.” (I cried. This was my first third-party vindication, from someone who was not already invested in me, that my book is worth reading.)

So it’s been nearly four months, and I thought I would reread my story for the fun of it. Pretend it’s already published, and I’m just reading the book.

Well, I’m glad I did, because there has been enough distance now to provide new perspective, and some things jumped out at me. When I read, I like to lose myself in the story. I don’t want to hear the author’s words in my head. It should just work, to the point that I don’t even hear how the author’s saying it. There are parts of my book that are like that… but when a word jumped out at me, I thought, “Ah. This is my chance to get rid of those little bits of wordiness that will irritate me in years to come.”

I’ve struck a word here and there… it’s just a single word, no big deal, but when you don’t need it, you don’t need it… And all those single words add up. Then there are places where I’ve removed a phrase, cut off a clause, or even excised a whole sentence. There was a time when I was too in love with the story to see it could be told differently. Now I’m realizing we just don’t need everything that’s there.

Yes, there’s the danger that I’m overediting. My son has saved me from this a few times. But mostly, good work is being done here. And when I’m all done… well, I’ll read it again, pretending I’m reading the published work. And if something bothers me (“Why did I say it like that? Oh, wait, I changed it. Why did I change it? The original was so much better…”)—well, there’s still time to put it back the way it was.

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