Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Are we there yet?

Aaaaaaaah!! *runs around in crazed circles*

It's a wonder I have any hair on my head. Thank the heavens that I was given a curly mop, because it makes your hair look thicker and I can promise you, by the time we're all done with the prepping and finalizing Seers of Light for sale, I will have very little left. It's 14 days till the book goes on sale... and wow, what a journey.

You see, you write a book...and then the easy part is officially and absolutely over.

The most complicated stuff comes after, I promise you. All the real work begins in the editing and formatting stages. First the author edits the bejeesus out of the manuscript, then the editor does the same, then you edit based on their edits, then the managing editor does the same, then its your turn again, then, when you're all feeling confident that it can pass through the gates of grammar heaven proudly, the format artist has to run their own fine tooth comb through it to set the pages/font/style/alignment/everything else under the sun that makes the book look like a book. And throughout all this, you STILL bloody find a few things, little tiny details that make you ask, "How in the hell did I/we/everyone miss that?" It's amazing, and frustrating, and enthralling, and frustrating... did I mention that? And not just for me, mind you. For everyone involved. God bless the formater/typesetter. They make the story look like something you'd want to open a page to. And the tedious work involved in that process is no less stressful than the editing aspect.

Editors are taught that, should your goal be utter perfection, you will never complete a single manuscript. I dare you to pluck a book from your shelf and not find a single typo -- no stray comma, no skipped word, etc, etc and so forth. It won't happen. However, the last few months have been a rally to make the finished product as clean as is possible, regardless.

I saw the near finished file of my novel today, complete with technicalities of copyright and whatnot. It was so amazing--as close to the real deal as I'll get before I hold that baby in my hands.

I'll tell you, I can't wait until it's done! Then it's time for the next writing project, time to fall into the next world so that we can do it aaall over again. And why am I willing to repeat said toil? I mean, wouldn't a nine-to-five, normal ole' day job alone keep me busy enough? (Because I've got one of those... ) It's for the same reason I wrote Seers to begin with. I know how a book makes you feel. I know how a good story/movie/song can change your heart, inspire you to action, energize and put your whole life in perspective. And I want to give people that gift more than anything else in the world.

So here's hoping that, after all this, the readers will feel my heart. They'll feel whatever they need to feel and take whatever they need to take from the book. But, no matter what, the blood, sweat and tears will still be worth it, because even if no one but me ever read this book, it has changed my world, and what more can I ask?

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