Getting It Right

Jan 30, 2013 | Writing A Book

We’re on the homestretch now. I’m doing the final read-through and edit of a client’s book. This will be the sixth major revision. Here’s what got us to this point, and what comes next.

The first step was to get the basics right. That took a while, but we got the big pieces in the right order.

Then we worked hard on the details. We paid attention to the accuracy of quotes and to the way we described the examples we used. We took a close look at the historical examples we wanted to use and discovered that one classic story was not what it seemed.

We made some changes as we went. As a result, the first full draft had several inconsistencies. We started re-writing. Five drafts later, I’m doing the almost-final edit.

I’m reading the full manuscript of about 200 pages aloud for the sixth time. We’re on pace for about 1500 changes to the manuscript in this round of revisions. That’s normal.

What could there be after all those other revisions? Nothing huge, though there have been some descriptions that needed a thorough tune-up. Most of the changes are either grammar or punctuation corrections.

I called this the “almost-final” edit because that’s what it is. It’s the last time I’ll touch the manuscript in any significant way, but the author will send it out to a professional editor when we’re done with it.

What will happen then? That editor will find a whole lot of things to fix. That’s how the world works.