Friday, October 21, 2011

How to edit a book

Step one: receive email from editor with comments and report on book. Read it, and be immediately outraged that she can find anything, anything at all, wrong with your book.

Step two: drink a lot of wine and tell yourself it'll look better in the morning.

Step three: Look at it in the morning (somewhat blearily). It doesn't look better.

Step four. Reason that the editor's job is to find fault with the book. That by eliminating faults the book will become stronger. Open file.

Step five: Howl with outrage that editor doesn't 'get' your jokes.

Step six: Drink more wine.

Step seven: Switch on computer.  Check emails. Conspicuous lack of emails from editor saying, "You know what, just forget about making any changes. It's perfect as it is."

Step seven. Go on Twitter and moan about edits.

Step eight: Blog about how much you hate doing edits.

Step nine: Open file. Do two pages of edits.  Congratulate yourself by...

Step ten: ...checking Twitter again and reporting triumphantly on your progress.

Step eleven: Realise there are still 300 pages left to do. Drink more wine.

Step twelve: Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Read blogs. Send emails. At some time just before dinner, finally get around to opening file containing edits. Do two whole chapters. Celebrate by drinking wine.

Steps thirteen through forty: Repeat the above.

Step forty-one: Send off first round of edits. Celebrate with vodka.

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