Revising Leah

October 27, 2008

Oh Crap! I’m Almost Done!

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 5:10 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m starting to think that my manuscript might be a lot closer to “completion” than I had previously thought. Over the weekend, I reread the “third act” of the novel and while I changed a few words and revised a few sentences, I really didn’t find a lot of work that needed to be done. In fact, that’s really all I’ve been doing: focusing on word choice, revising some sentences for clarity, and fixing some stray punctuation errors

My current revising strategy has been to convert my master document into a PDF document and read it that way. There are two advantages to doing that at this stage. First, because I cannot make changes to a PDF document, when I read the PDF version of my manuscript, I’m less likely to make superficial, unnecessary changes. I do keep my manuscript open in my word processor, just in case there is a correction that I do think is necessary, but the extra step of having to switch back and forth between programs discourages me from making changes just for the sake of making changes.

The other advantage is that a page from my PDF document looks similar to what the page would look like when the book is published — it’s as close as I can come to imagining what the finished, published novel will look like without actually printing it out. It’s a very different experience from looking at the manuscript in my word processor. As I said in the last post, a piece of writing like a novel is never really “finished,” but seeing the manuscript in PDF form does offer the illusion of completion. For me, when I see the manuscript in the word processor, it still feels like a work in progress and it seems to beckon me to make changes. When I see the manuscript in my PDF viewer, it looks like something static, like a published book, and that alters how I perceive the book’s progress.

But as the title for today’s post suggests, this situation causes a dilemma for me — several dilemmas, actually. When I started this blog back in April, I had a time line in mind for this revising project. I wanted it to be complete by the end of 2008 so that if I went the self-publishing route again, I could publish the novel in early 2009. Right now, I still have two months to go; even if I am 99 percent finished, I’m not going to to publish it until next year. So another problem I face is what I’m going to do with this blog for the next several weeks. I’ve been adding a new post every two or three days, but if there isn’t much revising left for me to do, then I’m not going to have much to write about. I might have to suspend this blog for a few weeks, and I’d rather not do that. I still have ideas for future posts (I have a backlog of drafts that I’m working on), but I don’t know if I can keep this going for two more months, until the publication process starts (and I’ll document that, too).

Of course, this isn’t really a terrible situation to be in. I’d definitely rather be ahead of schedule than feel like I still have a lot of major revisions to make.


1 Comment »

  1. I think it’s fabulous that you are closer to completion than you think. The .pdf idea is fantastic. I have a few things I am sitting on and that may be an idea for the ones that I have that need attention, but that need to be left alone as well due to internal conflict.

    Keep us updated, I look forward to hearing about Leah and watching her wind her way to publication.

    Comment by Lisa — October 28, 2008 @ 11:52 am

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