Tuesday, March 11, 2008

At last, the Push is Over

My, oh my, I started the final edit for Fatal Encryption on January 7th. I worked on it every day and finished it on March 10th. What had been a 388 page book is now 370 pages, and on that score alone I'd say it was worth the effort.

You know, I thought I had a pretty polished manuscript when I gave it to my editor (and this was her second go with it), but she came up with 5 pages of comments on everything from commas and dialogue tags to awhile vs. a while. And she pointed out that I had a particular fondness for the word "plunk". God knows why I used it so often because I never use this word in everyday language. But she also thought I'd written a clever, funny, entertaining book, so the 5 pages didn't seem so bad.

After I finished the rewrite I gave the book to my husband for proofreading because he does a fair amount of this in his work, and he does it well. He's a meticulous, detail-oriented man...okay, some might call him anal, but that's perfectly okay when it comes to book production. Sure enough, he found a half-dozen pages with a double period at the end of a sentence, or a quotation mark missing, and there was even one word missing from a sentence.

I've learned two things about this process, beyond the grammar and punctuation stuff. One is that the best feature in Word is the "Find" key, because it'll find all those "plunks" and double periods in a split-second. The other is that I could change and tweak and ponder over words here and there for years and still wouldn't be satisfied that I'd created the perfect book. But for the time and skill I have at this point in my life, it's as close as I can get.

I'll let you know when the sample chapters are up on my website.

Debra Purdy Kong

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