I’ve been procrastinating about getting down to my writing all morning. And I didn’t write a word yesterday. Am I feeling the need to relax a bit about my writing schedule – after all I’ve sent off the final, final, final corrections for the book prior the launch just about six weeks away.
Dealing with the final corrections is a whole other story. I received my review copy early this month – in a paperback edition although the book will come out next month in hardback. I really hadn’t intended to read it. I just wanted to have a copy for my records. So my husband Bob decided to read it front to back. He had read little bits of the book when I had the drafts posted on the storyboard wall, but I had never asked him to read or review it before. (I was told some years ago not to let a significant other read your drafts – the risks of hurt and hard feelings are too high.)
So needless to say, his reading the book at this point was a huge confront. Although I didn’t worry that there would be any hard feelings, because he's an excellent editor, I did worry that he’d find things that were too late to fix.
Luckily he was kind and he only made a few suggestions. In fact, at first he didn’t even know if I wanted him to mark any typos. So by the time I asked him to, he had already found a couple in the first half of the book and didn’t note where they were. That was my undoing. I felt adamant against coming out with a book with known typos. I looked through the first half of the review copy and couldn’t find them. I looked through my last word version online and couldn’t find them, and Bob didn’t have the time or patience to go through the book again to see if he could find them.
I finally asked my eagle-eye friend to take a look, and although she found only one of the places Bob mentioned (he said he saw two places where two words were run together) she found a couple of other typos as well. And then we had to be done. My publisher gave me a deadline of March 28 and we were down to the wire.
So what I know is no matter how many times I read the book and no matter how many times I say it is final, final, final, I know it could be looked at one more time. And there is always the need for another pair of fresh eyes to take a look. Of course I also know if we had unlimited time to keep reading and reviewing, nothing would ever get published.
My only hope now is: if it was so hard for my eagle-eyed friend and me to find the other pair of run-together words, none of my readers will find them either. Even though you know it’s there?
Causes Madeline Sharples Supports
Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, Culver City, CA
Vistamar School, El Segundo, CA
Crossroads School, Santa Monica, CA (Endowment in...