Sunday, 13 November 2011
We all have things that drive us nuts. That bring out those little quirks in our personality we wish weren't there. In my case I wish I had a greater ability to trust. I don't like my reaction at having to face the never ending repercussions of my minimal trust ability. They leave me feeling drained and confused. They are physical and emotional states and feelings that I loathe.
So...trust me when I say, my latest experience in the drained, confused, state hasn't been pleasant. We use the term so easily. Trust me, even if it's not stated out loud it's an implied sentiment in many of our interactions. So what had me tossing and turning in bed last night, unable to sleep? I wish I could say it was a hot and horny man, but alas, no. It was implied trust.
I've just finished the final edit and approval for the upcoming release of Finding Angel. Being new to the publishing process I really had only a minimal idea of what to expect once I handed over my manuscript to an anonymous individual at the end of an email. When the first edits arrived I discovered a new and interesting hell, the edits were a nightmare. I fumbled my way through, changing point of view (POV) errors, and applying hooks to a couple of the chapter beginnings and endings, adding some transitional paragraphs. As I made the changes, I realized I had to trust my editor and the advice she gave me to make the book a better read. Luckily I had no major rewrites, the story is still intact, I didn't have major changes to make, so what was there to complain about...nothing really. Well nothing except taking my over active mind in hand and convincing myself that I was able to place my trust in the editor. She knew the process, she'd done this before, she gave me positive feedback about the work, and she obviously had an investment in making the book as good as it could be. After all, editing is her job, her livelihood. I can trust her...I willed myself to trust her.
I assumed the second and final edit would be a breeze. I was so misguided. Trust issues raised their head again. The edit was easy. I basically had to clarify the meaning of a few words. Most clarification stemmed from the language barrier, yes, even though we both speak English, Aussies and Americans phrase things differently. So three days later it was done, finished. I read the manuscript again, and it's ready to send back. I haven't sent the email. Why? Because this is it, no more second chances. I have to trust that it's as good as it can be, that there aren't any mistakes and my editor has polished the words until they sparkle. In my rational mind, I believe it sparkles like a diamond, but what if there's a smear neither of us has noticed?
Irrationally, here's the problem. I am a veracious reader. I have some authors that I must read, and I mark on the calendar when their next release is coming out so I can read it ASAP. Recently, one of those authors had books go to sale with huge editing errors. Missing pages, write at the end. Not just spelling errors, those can be ignored even though they are noticeable, but whole scenes were left out during the edit process. Continuity issues where names of characters changed from the beginning to the end of the book. I understand that the process of writing and editing isn't perfect. Nothing in life can carry that tag. I've read Finding Angel so many times I no longer see the words properly, I just see the story and the characters I've created. I'm part of the book, and I believe if you’re too close to a situation you often can't see what's wrong with it. You need an outsider to look into the situation and point out the errors, so you can change what's wrong. In the case of Finding Angel, if there were errors, I have to hope and believe my editor has caught them all. But, if a major, highly regarded author can be let down in the editing process and have books go to print with large errors, where does that leave me? It leaves me battling my trust issues.