The agony and the ecstasy…of proofreading

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I have just finished inputting the line edit changes to chapter 3 of my third story The Crusader’s Hoard. At times I want to pull all my hair out, strand by strand, rather than complete this part of the process. But when I finish a chapter and I know the changes are “in” and ready to go, I feel a weight lifts off my shoulders and I can breathe a little lighter and anticipate what I’m going to have for lunch to celebrate.

My favorite part of creating a new book is the writing the first draft. Then comes creating a cover and working on my website because these are all creative things that feed my soul.

Next must be the formatting of the ebook because I get to see my story changed into a book. And that is almost as great as the writing itself because a story comes to life and exists not only in my mind but also in the real world where readers live.

Last and at the very end of the line is the editing process. I don’t mind the first edits where I’m checking to make sure my story holds water, moving about parts of the story if needed to serve the greater good. But getting down to the very end, polishing right to the final moment, that friends is my least favorite and most agonizing part of the process.

But with it comes a new draft, the perfect press, where all is revealed in all its glory. The first chance a story gets to sing, and fly the nest. This is the last time I will wander through the pages looking for missing words, inserting those words and following the story for errors.

But 1/4 of the way sounds pretty good – the first 10 kms of a marathon. Perhaps the easiest or the hardest depending on how you view it. The key is to proceed slowly, taking all the time in the world to perfect the story and make it as shiny as possible because rushing through only serves to defeat the whole purpose. Focus is what’s needed and a nice lunch.

4 thoughts on “The agony and the ecstasy…of proofreading

  1. Hi Mabel! How fascinating, writing a book! Can you tell me at what point you decide on the title? I am hoping to write a non-fiction book about my life at a girls’ boarding school in the 1970s. But I’m finding it hard to get going, as I can’t think of a good title!

    • Oh, this is great to hear your thoughts. Usually the title comes along after I’ve finished most of the research or sorting information and it usually has to do with my subject which is usually treasure hidden in some part of the world. It’s fun to experiment with different titles until one just feels right. I also attended a girls’ boarding school in the 1980s and it was the inspiration for my first YA novel. Looking forward to hearing more about your writing processes.

    • Hi Joyce, That would be great, thanks so much? How are you doing? Did you publish the book you were working on while you were here on Gabe? Lovely to be in touch with you. I did get find myself a group of beta-readers (thanks to your suggestion) after i finished writing in the fall. Now i have a line-editor who is really talented. I wonder if you’d be open to me sending chapters along in batches just as a word file? I have three done. Perhaps you could email me back with notes on errors on pages if that works for you? Sending love! Jane

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