28 November 2012

Back Matter

Just a quick note of my final and utter completion (bar beta based show stoppers) of the first three books in the Chicago Shadows series. A typographical swoop over vols 2 and 3, the assembly of some front and back matter and the posting of the e-books to Amazon and we're all set for the launch.

I remember reading the words of a literary agent back in 2005/2006 whose one piece of solid advice was: polish, polish, polish. I believed the words back then but with the reservation that going over and over the same Office Suite Document/Text File/Hard copy over and over again would be a route to navel-gazing OCD insanity.

The true answer to this problem, aside from spending money on assistance, is to ensure that you continually change your perspective on the material prior to publication. This is the reason for me to compose in a text editor, edit in Manuscript and read the thing aloud from an e-book before giving it the rubber stamp. Final typographical flourishes take place in the final ODT file. Every fresh pass is a different look at the same material, every polish reveals mistakes that had hidden behind the previous format.

It is not enough to just comb through and through. It won't help, it will just make you blind. You have to find your own way to change your relationship to the finished article.

Also, as my beta readers have testified, my editing in Manuscript became better the more I edited. Editing has become a new skill set, a different type of writing, and I am pleased to have discovered it because it is its own type of creative process.

Not long now, exciting times.

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