Tweak Crazy

on September 21, 2006

First, I want to thank Tess Gerritsen and Barbara Colley for being our guests this week at Murder She Writes. We really appreciate them taking the time!

There have been a few technical difficulties. Barbara responded to everyone’s comments, but unfortunately they seem to have disappeared. We’re looking into it. (Actually, we’re having our web guru at Stonecreek Media, look into it.) If you’ve posted something that has disappeared or never showed up this week, please email us.

I need to ship out my copyedits on SPEAK NO EVIL by the end of today. I have 100 more pages to go. I started them on Sunday (after taking Saturday off; now I’m regretting it!) I should be done, but I’m tweaking. I can’t help it. And when I tweak, I read slower.

Most authors probably tweak BEFORE they send the book into their editor. After revisions, I didn’t have time. I slammed through the revisions, got all the major points covered. I didn’t have time to go over each line, make sure I wasn’t too repetitive (a problem I have), fix word problems.

The book was 95% clean, and the line edits I’m looking at are really good. My guy who does it really tightens my writing in a way that I hope to be able to do to myself down the road. I think I get so close to the story that I can’t think of a better way to say something, but he’ll cut a word or two (or add a word or two) and suddenly my meaning is clearer. I haven’t STETted much (that’s when you write STET in the margin because you DON’T want a copyedit/line edit change made.) Some problems were that the copyeditor didn’t understand my meaning–which means I wasn’t clear enough. So I fixed the sentences to make them clearer.

I’m still tweaking things that haven’t even been touched by the red pencil. Because this is the last time I can make substantial changes. This is also the version (with all these changes) that will be printed for the ARC. So I want to get things as right as possible.

I found one major error no one else saw. I mentioned that The Butcher (from THE HUNT) had seventeen victims. Then later, sixteen. So I went back to THE HUNT and re-read the section that had this information. The Butcher had 22.

But I love this part of the process. I’ve read the book all the way through for the first time. I had read everything IN the book multiple times, but not in order. So I’m seeing the full picture for the first time. It’s both exciting and scary. I love this story; will anyone else?

Oh, yeah, have I mentioned that I’m totally neurotic?