Monday, June 10, 2013

Can a manuscript ever be perfect?

James D. Best
Orgainc? Now that's embarrassing. 

A couple weeks ago, I went through the galley proof for The Return and found over twenty changes. Bummer. When I received the corrected galley proof, I found two more errors. Double bummer. The book is now in proofreading and if experience is any guide, a dozen or more errors and typos will be discovered. Makes you wonder if it's possible to write 75,000 flawless words. 

It's embarrassing when reviewers point out grammar or spelling mistakes. Yet, it invariably happens. My first book, published by Wiley, had three line-editors. That was standard practice fifteen years ago. Now, even the big houses have cut back to a single line editor. That's why you're seeing more mistakes in big-name author books. It's not the cost of editing as much as the time. Time is money, and when you have a potential bestseller waiting in the wings, publishers are in a rush to get it to market. 

Anyway, I'm rambling because I'm at a bit of a loss about what to do. The cartoon below explains my mood exactly, except I've finished writing my latest book. It's always been hard for me to start the writing process on a new book while my last novel is in the final stages. I know I'll get engrossed in new story and resent the inevitable interruptions that come form finalizing and promoting my prior book. I only allow myself to read books I've collected as reference material for my next novel. Besides, I need to let the plot percolate for a while before laying down the first word.

I think I'll head off to Pacific Beach and get in a little summer surfing. Reading and surfing ... that should fill my days nicely.

james d. best

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