Sunday, September 1, 2013

Editing Withdrawal

By Rich

Photo courtesy of gfpeck
Two years and three months ago I submitted the first 10 pages of Paradise Not Quite Lost to my current critique group as an audition. Three hundred pages later, the manuscript has gone through numerous additions, deletions, rewrites, chapter shifts, proper name changes, and an intense removal of dependent clauses and crutch words. This weekend I received news from my editor at Ballot Press that she packaged the manuscript and sent it to the publisher for compiling into print and eBook formats. In other words, my editing on Paradise Not Quite Lost is now done.

I have mixed emotions on this. I'm truly grateful the project is now done, especially after the grueling sessions to remove seven hundred instances of the word "was" from the novel. Yet, I feel somewhat empty. There was rarely a moment between June of 2011 and this summer that I wasn't touching something up on the manuscript. Sure, there were times where I just edited a page or two over a period of a few weeks, but Paradise Not Quite Lost constantly stayed on my mind.

I guess this is how parents feel when their children leave the roost. They feed them, get them dressed, dole out heeded or ignored advice, remove their dependent clauses and crutch words, and get them ready for the world. And when the door shuts as they wave a tear-filled or gleeful goodbye, an emptiness sets in parents that can only be replaced with a good bottle of wine and a luxury cruise around the world. I'm sure I'll feel this way when the last of my 5 children exits
the house sometime around my 100th birthday.

Unlike children, who may or may not return, I know I'll see Paradise Not Quite Lost again when it arrives on my doorstep with a splashy cover and testimonials from Greg Bear, Neil Gaiman, and Oprah Winfrey. I'll just have to occupy my time with family, friends, hobbies, and sessions of binge watching Pawn Stars. Or, maybe I'll start editing the second book in the series. Yeah, that's the right stuff!

Do you feel withdrawal after your book or story goes to the publisher?

4 comments:

Jane Louise Boursaw said...

I can't even imagine what that would feel like - sending a book you've toiled over out into the world. I like the idea of taking a well-deserved break, and then jumping into the next book in the series. Way to go, Rich!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Congratulations, Rich. I know how hard it is to let go of a manuscript when it's time. Looking forward to the good read.

Dean K Miller said...

Congrats Richard...I have an antidote for you...a little ditty called "Her Father's Wooden Leg." Try it...first dose is free.

EnoFemme said...

Congrats, Rich!

I usually go through these stages after finishing a piece of writing:
Relief.
Relaxation.
Twitch. (More mental than physical.)

The Twitch stage inevitably leads to more writing or editing.

Best wishes on the next book!

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