Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is Where Love Once Lived Finished?

I've reported on two occasions here that I have completed Where Love Once Lived and turned it over to the publisher. Well, I lied. They sent me the final proof and I couldn't help reading it from cover to cover. To be honest it is the first time I'd done that since it was rejected by White Rose Publishing about a year. Guess what? It's good! The changes I made for White Rose tightened it up just right.

However, I found a few problems that had to be corrected. Since we were so far along in the production process, I had to pay CreateSpace an extra $100 to get the changes in, but there was no choice. You'll understand when you see the following.

First of all, I found a reference to Brian's sister. This is a sister I cut out of the book many revisions back.

A major problem I have in editing is not rereading the whole sentence after making a change. For example, I must have changed "...will help sell them" to "...will help sell the idea." But what I ended up with was "...will help sell THEM idea." That had to be fixed.

There were some missing words. I'm not sure how they got past the publisher's copyeditor, but they did. Example, "How is that the children..." should be "How is IT that the children..." Also, "What wrong?" instead of "What's wrong?"

I found several errors caused by changes in other areas of the book. In one place, Karen says, "I did tell Julie not long ago and felt better after doing so." Sixty some odd pages later Karen actually tells Julie for the first time. You can't catch errors like this without reading the whole book in a short period of time. I'm a slow reader, and I was searching for problems, so it took me about eight hours to read it.

One of the things I learned in writing classes is not to repeat the same word or phrase too much, especially on the same page. I've been careful about that in my writings. However, they creep in during edits unless you reread the whole scene. I found more than a few places where I needed to make changes because of this.

I found two punctuation errors. A missing closing quote in one place and a combination comma period in another place. Not bad. Those missing quotes are hard to spot.

In one place, Brian refers to the Manor school bookmobile stop as his favorite when clearly everyone would know his favorite stop would be Holden Elementary School where Karen taught. I fixed that.

As the author, I have a lot of back story in my head about the characters and I know what's happening next. Sometimes I wish I could read the story the way a new reader would. However, because I hadn't read the book in so long, I did spot a possible problem for a new reader. This had to do with one of the Austin characters suddenly being in Redondo Beach, California. I know how she got there, but it wouldn't be clear to anyone else. I found an easy way to fix it.

As long as I was making changes and it wouldn't cost any more to make a few others, I fixed this sentence: Karen felt God had led her to the perfect time. I deleted "Karen felt" because that is implied by it being Karen's point of view. Other non-grammatical changes included moving the order of sentences in a paragraph to help the flow and leaving out the word "then" which is implied in a narrative.

There were 26 such changes, but I probably didn't find them all. When you spot a problem while reading the book, please let me know. It won't hurt my feelings at all and I'll correct it for future editions.

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