Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Answer to Kimber's question, Part 1

In her comments to my blog post yesterday, Kimber mentioned wanting to know about how to edit manuscripts after a time lag.

Talk about yer timely question, as I am about to do just that.

Rumor has it that my Esteemed Editor should be getting back to me with comments/revisions suggestions about my last manuscript this week. I haven't looked at that manuscript since I submitted it just over four weeks ago. In that time, I have written the synopsis for another book, revised and submitted it, as well as participating in various and sundry social activities and assorted household chores (scraping paint, weeding...yuck) and done Far Too Much Shopping. There's been a lot of water going under the ol' bridge since I last looked at KNAVE'S HONOR.

Since I don't want to respond to my Esteemed Editor's comments or questions with "The who in the what now?" I'm going to be re-reading KNAVE'S HONOR today, and will no doubt be doing some editing along the way because...I simply cannot help myself. I'll also be trying to second guess what comments/problems Esteemed Editor might be seeing, now that I'm not so close to the work.

So how do I start?

First, I've printed up a fresh hard copy. Tough on the trees, but necessary for me. I can't really edit on the computer; I need to see the words on a page.

I will be sharpening my red pencil. Sometimes I use ink, sometimes red, sometimes purple, sometimes green. Today, because I found a red pencil in a desk drawer the other day, I'm feeling red pencil is the way to go. Which means I must have a pencil sharpener close by.

Then I will get my clipboard with lined paper (in case I have a lot of notes on any part). I will have half-pages for shorter notes. This is what happens to all the old hard copies of my intermediate revisions, save for the love scenes. I live in fear that I'll drop a grocery list in the store, some unsuspecting child will pick it up, turn it over and be forever traumatized by reading part of a love scene not intended for such young eyes. I also have post-it notes for really small notes, and I write in the margins, too.

What Kimber really wants to know, though, is how do I get back into the story? Right now, my answer would be, I just do. I can't really explain it.

However, I'm going to post Part 2 to Kimber's question later today, when I've actually gone back to edit, to see if I can be a little more specific. Stay tuned!

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