Monday, November 7, 2011

Real Deal

So I got the email Friday with the 'copy edited' version of Azalea Assault attached. This is my last chance to reasonably make sure it is CLEAN. The professionals have had a go, but I get another chance. And I've seen enough typos in books to take this seriously. EVERYBODY misses stuff... the professionals will have missed stuff (not a lot—it is what they do after all, but a thing here and there). The professionals MAY have made some decisions I don't care for. I mean, they are the pros, so I don't want to second guess them on 99% of stuff, but I also don't want to MISS it if they changed something I feel strongly about.

This feels real. There is a book that I WROTE that is going to be on shelves one day soon. And I feel a strong responsibility to make it the best I can. At the same time... THE PRESSURE!!!

My plan is to read it out loud. It takes a while, but my experience is it is harder for the eye to overlook errors if you are SAYING them. And it is easier to spot 'not said like I'd say' that way. I am also debating asking one of my friends who is so GREAT at this to give it a read... I wish I were in a position to pay. Whatever the case, I am a little intimidated, but I will give it my best.

NaNoWriMo Update

On this front, I am coming along pretty well. I have perhaps taken a little to long to get to it, but I like what I have so far, and tightening is always part of the revision process in my world. As of this writing (last night) I was at 14,867 with my bathtub stretch still in front of me, so hopefully past 15K.

I work ahead like this intentionally. I frequently run up against a wall at about the 2/3 mark where I can have several days of forcing a mere 200-500 words before I get my footing again. I am best off if I plan for it.

Additionally, if I am reading Azalea Assault early in the month, I need to enter any changes later in the month, so I need to have time to do so.

For the last few days in this story, I've been in Grants Pass Oregon running a con. It's been great fun. I have a college friend from Grants Pass and Lisa gave me a primer on where people hang out and what the hip things are to do. I've been there, but not since I was 18, so this was very helpful. It actually sounds like a pretty great community. “On the verge of hip” is how she put it—a river community with lots of rafting and water recreation that has recently added wineries to the local commerce mix. It is still hung back in time a little bit—not so unusual for cities under 40K people, but with lots of great stuff. It's actually really fun to add some of these details--a fun excuse to have a chat with an old friend and find out more about where she's from. I think I may try to do this in other places my characters plan to visit.

So how is everybody else doing with writing goals? Are you making progress? Conflicts arising you need to work around?


Jessica Bell said...

Hey honey, I'll give it a read if it fits with my schedule :) When would you need it by? Me very good at copy-editing. Shoulda seen the typos I caught in my book after the professionals had been over it! :)

Hart Johnson said...

Jessica-that's an AMAZING offer, thank you! I will send an email with info!!! Thank you so much!!!!

Old Kitty said...

I read you running a "con" like doing something erm.. well... not quite kosher! LOL!!!

Oh to be most NAKED like you on Mondays!! Me - I'm just lolling around like I do! LOL! Take care

Old Kitty said...

p.s. why is your facebook pic upside down!?!?

Take care

vic caswell said...

oh man! that would be so hard to spot the typos after you get this far! you can do it though!

keep kicking nano booty!

Jan Morrison said...

So exciting Tartlette - the real thing in your hands. I absolutely agree on the speaking out-loud thing - even better if you have a listener - then the stuff pops with your embarrassment. Hard to find someone willing to do that though. And good on ya for getting such a leap on your nano.
Me, I'm still basking in hitting my deadline with the 3rd person and picky edits - now I'm ruminating on some big things. Yes, I know. First I paint the wall and the fiddly window bits - then I take the wall down. Can't help it - just the way I seem to have to do it.
That town looks great - I love going to new places and finding the special bits.

Hart Johnson said...

Jenny-Yay for misattributing! teehee. And upsidedown because I'm on submission... It's Gae's fault.

Vic-yeah, I will catch some, but ALL of them! I'm so glad to have Jessica's offer to help!

Jan-a listener!? How stressful! I bet you're right, but I'm not sure who I could tie up and make listen... You'll get yours done!

Luanne G. Smith said...

It IS real. Big congrats on the novel. Very exciting. And I think reading it out loud is a great idea. It is amazing how many little things get past the eye.

S.P. Sipal said...

Congrats Hart! And I LOVE your cover. So pretty and the colors are vivid and eye-catching.

I agree about reading it out loud too. It's time consuming, as you say, but so worth it.

So, what kind of con game you running? :-)

James King said...

Congrats, Hart. It IS real. Reading aloud is a great copy-editing technique. I try to do this, but it takes awhile because I hate the sound of my voice in an empty room.

Dawn Ius said...

I LOVE editing and I LOVE you, so if you're looking for another proofer, I'd be more than willing. Especially since my NaNo wordage is blocked :-D
My email is

Hart Johnson said...

LG-thank you so much!

Susan- ah! The con... teehee. They (my MC and her brother) are bringing messages from the dead to their loved ones... you know... for a price. (and I love the cover, too!)

James-I hate my voice, so this IS an obstacle, and one problem is FINDING an empty room... darned family... teehee

Dawn--you're FABULOUS! This would be wonderful! I will email!

Ciara said...

There will always be a typo. I'm shocked in the last year how many typos I find in NY books. It seems to be more common now. Good luck with the release. I love the cover. :)

Tonja said...

I do a better job editing if I read out loud too. I prefer to do it while pacing on my deck, but there are always stares from the neighbors. Probably worth it. I'm enjoying NaNo but am behind schedule.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I'm doing the same thing that you are doing Hart with your book. I have a copy of my book that is the last chance to catch errors before the May 2012 release. I plan on taking several months (I read through it once and jotted down all the things I wanted to change and I did spot errors). I'm also going to format it for a private lulu book (you can do that on lulu's options-make it only visible to you). Not bothering with cover art or any of that jazz. When it shows up in the mail, I'll read it through and jot notes in the margins. Then I'll go back, fix, and probably get it back to my publisher in January. And that's it.

Johanna Garth said...

I second the idea of reading out loud. Great way to catch a lot of things. My only problem is that I often decide to rewrite whole passages which leads to (ack) more typose.

CA Heaven said...

I've tried a couple of times to read loud, just for myself, things I've written. It feels really strange, almost embarrasing. Don't think I like it.

Congrats on your book >:)

Cold As Heaven

Helena said...

It's great that you're in the fussy final stage of proofing. If you want me to have a pass at it, I'd be delighted.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, if you don't find all of the typos, it will still be all right!

Anonymous said...

Awesome news on Azalea! Can't wait to see it out and about. In the wild, as they say. You're doing great on NaNo so far. You already know my progress and I added another 1600 words today. It's going well, but I know what you mean about hitting a wall at some point and eking out the words. I hope that won't happen, but it could. Good luck on your copyedits!

Jenny Milchman said...

Look at that book!!! OMG, it is so real!! Oh Hart, it's going to be great, by all means, read out loud, but this is the coolest already :)

I am deep in the midst of a first draft, ie, NOT having to read aloud, which = bliss...

Hart Johnson said...

Ciara-I know there will always be one or two, but more than that and I wonder when I read... i don't WANT people to wonder when THEY read!

Tonja-I will probably do most of mine walking too. The people around here already think I'm eccentric, at best.

Michael, we are neck and neck on publishing--mine will be out June. But they want this stuff back before the end of November... That may be a big press versus smaller press thing, or maybe it is the imprint.

Johanna-yeah, I've done that... rewriting a paragraph completely and creating NEW problems...

CaH-Well i can't say I LIKE it. But it works, so is worth it.

Helena, you're WONDERFUL, and I'd love that! coming!

Alex-but I want it PERFECT!!!

Vicki-wild indeed! Nerve racking, but exciting! And no new words yet for me... just ready to get started!

Jenny-it IS very exciting! The cover makes it so tangible! And I am actually first drafting too (NaNoWriMo)... a little hesitant to put on that other hat just yet... but i must at some point soon.

LTM said...

omg omg omg!!! That is so super exciting! I can't wait to see it on the shelf. Squee!!!

and you're doing great on Nanner considering. Shew! <3

Trisha said...

This is so exciting!!! I know the feeling about looking for typos. No matter how hard you look, there's bound to be at least one. Nowadays I'm more shocked when a book has none. ;)

Well done on your NaNo goal, that's a solid word count!

Unknown said...

My muse takes it as a personal affront to his manly manliness that I be so externally motivated by a writing "program" so he freezes me out and denies me heat....and I am nothing if not a slave to his testosterone fueled creativity! Good luck to all doin' the NaNo!
I have a novel in my head. Muse says: give it to me NOW...must go, he needs me.