I woke up this morning from a dream where I was copy editing my novel. Or maybe it was a nightmare! I spent hours and hours yesterday doing exactly that. And guess what’s on the agenda for today. And probably tomorrow. Since it’s already ten o’clock and I’m not at work yet. Procrastinating.
Copy editing is my last pass through the manuscript. It’s my very least favorite thing to do. After I write the novel I ran it through two spellcheck and grammar programs and send it out to readers (who give me lists of typos and continuity problems, as well as lots of other comments on characters, plot, etc.). So the comments came back from the two readers I sent it to. I went through and fixed all the typos, etc. that they found. And now I’m going through the final pass. And finding something else to fix every other page! Then again, I’d be worried if I found nothing. It’s nearly impossible to catch everything, but I want it to be as clean as humanly possible.
Copy editing is really difficult to do on my own writing. So much easier to do on someone else’s story. It requires me to stay on the surface of the story – to not get sucked into the characters and the plot. Which is what I do during the initial phase of writing. Go deeper and deeper into the story. To stay on the surface, I have to read it out loud. And pace around. I need to stay alert and really, really focused. For hours, if I’m working on a novel. And I need to make a lot of decisions about whether I want to follow the punctuation and grammar rules or if I want to break them, because it conveys the meaning better.
But mostly it involves reading my own writing for the millionth time. The same story, same characters. By the time I make it to this stage of a novel, I’m so sick of it that I really, really don’t want to see it again. Ever. Let alone read it in depth and very slowly. And I’d feel that way about anyone’s writing if I’d gone through it that many times. So, not my favorite thing to do.
On other fronts, my technological chaos seems to have died down. There was a flurry of tech problems a couple weeks ago – phone, computer, websites, DVD player, etc. It’s like a cloud of energy passed through the house, wreaked havoc on all things technological and then left. However my websites are still messed up – no book covers and links showing. After I worked on them in December and made everything all pretty, none of them are visible now, even though the information is all still there. So, once I get the novel finished, I’ll turn my attention in that direction. Or maybe I’ll go shovel sand. Might be more satisfying.
Out in the garden, Hellebores are beginning to open (sorry about the blurry photo, must learn to use my camera better), witch hazel blooms in yellow and orange are scenting the garden, along with minuscule white Sarcococca blossoms. Hazelnut flowers are growing larger and all sorts of plants are poking out of the ground, getting ready for spring. The sun is out, but it’s a crisp thirty degrees and ice is still covering my small fountain in front, all the birdbaths and patches of ground around the garden. Moss is happily growing on the cement paths and the patio is still in progress. I haven’t revved up for the season yet. But I’m about to order sweet pea and poppy seeds, about the only things I grow from seed these days. After we finish the patio, I’m going to build the raised beds and make a vegetable garden again. But with everything that’s on my plate, I’m thinking that might not happen until late in the summer and plant next spring. We’ll see. Looking forward to growing asparagus and salad greens again. And maybe a couple of fruit trees. Definitely raspberries.
Well, enough procrastinating. Off to copy edit again.