Edits and launches

With some relief, I finished checking through the edits on Blessed Assurance and moved on to other things for a few days. The editing process was a revelation. An immense amount of work, most of it by Andrea the editor rather than by me, though I still had to go through her thousands of edits and accept or reject. So what did I learn?

First, that the number of edits shown in the ‘track changes’ box is, in a sense, exaggerated. Changing from a full stop and new sentence to a colon or semicolon and a continued sentence is 5 edits as each step is shown separately. Second, that the easiest way of dealing with it was simply to go through and focus on the edits I wanted to reject, then accept the rest en bloc. And third, that a new pair of eyes, especially those of a professional editor, sees things that have been missed and it’s a worthwhile process.

So what edits did I reject? Mainly those where I disagreed on the new sentence question. Most of these were in sections of dialogue, where I had been careful to make the characters speak normally, and not in perfectly grammatical sentences – and the editor wanted to make it grammatical. Other rejections were stylistic, when I wanted a certain effect and she was losing that effect. The rejections were not a high proportion though and the formatting has benefitted hugely.

The editor also raised queries regarding names, consistency and continuity which were very helpful. One query was the accuracy of the timing of an argument about gay marriage and related to the time period in which the book was set. I had it right in that instance, but a reference to Justin Welby as Archbishop had to be changed to Rowan Williams a little later.

Edits agreed, the process of typesetting has now commenced. Next stage, and each one bringing the final product that bit closer.

In the meantime, I have been sorting out dates and times for launch events. Two in Dorking, in June and July, and one in London at the Phoenix Arts Club, possibly also in July. Watch this space.

Tony Earnshaw

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