It has been a week and a half since I received the exciting email containing the professionally edited proof of my debut novel.
At a first glance, all I felt was excitement. Giddy excitement to see my baby, still on a Word Document, but looking as it will look on the pages of an actual book. The layout just looked fabulous and having my name as the author and on copyright was pretty cool.
My words flowing, words I had written, characters I’d come up with in a world entirely created by moi – it still seems surreal. Scrolling briefly before reading any, I was happy to see that it hadn’t been completely covered in editor comments and changes, and felt quite proud that an amount of my time studying English had been worthwhile.
My publishers explained to me in detail how they have edited my manuscript and advised precisely how I go about agreeing with their changes or, indeed, disagreeing.
I realise I am no professional. I am fully aware that I am brand new to this game. However, I felt it would be useful to share with you all my tips so far on THE PROOF and what I have found helpful when reading through my entire manuscript once again.
- READ ALOUD: it makes for clearer reading and easier to spot little mistakes
- TAKE YOUR TIME: while time is of the essence, this book is going out into the world, do not rush, be careful to get it right
- PLAN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH: I have planned to read a chapter a day. If I achieve more, then I am very happy but if that is all I manage then equally, I have done well. I work full time and sometimes after a busy shift my eyes need to be away from screens.
- KEEP A CLEAR HEAD: there is no point attempting to effectively read through and edit when your brain is frazzled. I find it takes a few moments to get into the right head space in which to work properly. This weekend I am off to the beach. I have a great friend who makes this happen but also, the beach is where my mind instantly clears and I know I will get a lot of quality work done while there.
- BE PROUD: don’t underestimate your achievement and be proud to look at your book in a professionally edited form. As much as you feel you’re boring those around you, it is VERY VERY exciting!