Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Revisions and R&R

I'm heading into the mountains early Tuesday morning for a quick dose of R&R. Staying overnight and returning Wednesday afternoon. Why? I need it.

I've just finished an intense ten days of revisions on the Kelly Flynn mystery I submitted in June. Usually my editor has small suggestions for revisions, but this time she made a more complicated suggestion. And---it resonated. I run everything past the Muse and it made sense. It was an excellent idea----and it sparked another idea I had lurking in the back of my mind concerning another character. Both ideas combined added a great deal to the story.

Problem is----both those revisions required intense re-writing of scenes in practically every chapter of the novel. But---editor revisions are a part of the writing business. It's a collaborative business in every sense of the word. And that's always been fine with me. I want to hear input.

So---ten days ago I burrowed in and re-wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote again. I let my editor see what I was coming up with so we'd be on the same page. She loved it, which is great. But then, the tedious part started: Putting in all those revisions into the computer file. Slow, slow, and slower. Every job has its tedious aspects, and writing fiction isn't exempt.

Some of you might suggest that I could speed up the process considerably by revising right on the computer file. I do that for smaller revisions. But these changes were much longer and more involved and I needed to see them on the hard copy to figure out what I wanted to do.

However, one part of the process has gotten easier. My publisher, Berkley Prime Crime, has gone electronic for editing copy now. Which meant my editor's revisions were all marked in one color on the electronic file copy of the manuscript which she sent. My revisions when entered showed up in another color. That made it easier to see what was changed. All in all, I really liked the electonic file copy method. I had my hard copy in front of me with my changes, and it went very smoothly. But then----I'm terribly anal when it comes to details.

Have any of you had to do electronic editing yet?