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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Last Monday I crossed the finish line for LOCAL GIRLS, handing in revisions one whole day early!!! (only because I thought the deadline was Monday, otherwise I would have squeezed every last second out of one more day). And then I settled down to read a little (Sarah Dessen's THIS LULLABYE). Stuck in between the pages were all these pink sticky notes with ideas I'd had the last time I was reading - ideas for the book I just handed in. Of course, since I forgot about said ideas on pink sticky notes, I didn't put them in during the revision round (smack to the head).

That's pretty much how I feel until the book is in print, like there's more I could do, another scene that will make it all come together, a sentence that makes it oh so much better. Even after the book is in print I feel like that. Imagine how thrilled I was for one reader to point out that there's a typo on the last page of LUKE. Gee, thanks for pointing that out, like I can change it now. Still, the reader made me feel personally responsible for assaulting her sense of all that is correct grammatically, like I knew the mistake was there and thought, ah, to hell with it, who cares about one little mistake... even though the mistake makes Emily's graduation date one thousand years before she was even born. Yeah, I need to be told that like I need a hole in my head, or to have every single typo pointed out to me in painstaking detail. In any case, typos aside (and I can put them aside because I have no control over whether or not my changes are actually implemented in the end when some typesetter is putting together his hundredth book for the week and he doesn't care if Emily ever graduates, or who Emily is, no less what the date is), I hate turning in a book because it means I have to stop fixing it, and I'm always sure there's more to be fixed.

So here's my question for the other authors: ever gone back and read one of your books only to cringe at a line, wonder why the hell you had a character do something, or just basically wished you'd done something differently? Or do you just accept it for what it is and move on?

3 comments:

Kelly Parra said...

The only book I felt was finished was my very first book--a romantic suspense--and that was only because I'd worked on it for two years and had revised it over and over again. :) :)

With my last two books, I've felt pressed for time and thought they still could use edits. But it's a feeling that doesn't go away!

jennifer echols said...

I read my books when I get the finished copy just to find the typos and cringe. (I work as a copyeditor, so typos really hurt. But I also know they will happen no matter how careful you are.) After that I try never, ever, ever to read my books again.

caralockwood said...

I hate typos! Of course, I always hear about them, too, which doesn't make dealing with them any easier. One of my in-laws is a textbook author and she always sends me a list of every typo she finds. She means well, of course, but there's nothing I can do about them. She knows this, but she still can't help herself!