Fare thee well and safe journeys, little copyedits!
So, I finished the copy edits on A Study in Ashes, which became abbreviated in emails to ASIA. The book seemed at least as big as Asia, clocking in at around 740-odd manuscript pages, which is twice the length of many mass market paperbacks these days. So I had a few plot threads to wind down. Sue me. Readers can’t accuse me of skimping.
I finished the copyedits in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, and now I’m just waiting for the page proofs. After that I’m done with the trilogy, which has been my alternate reality for the last year and a half.
By the time I get to proofreading the printed pages, I will have reread the book so often I barely “see” it anymore, which is why I ask other people who haven’t seen it before to read it at the same time. It’s interesting that after so many pairs of eyeballs, a fresh reader will still find mistakes.
For those that don’t know, the book production process goes something like:
- Author submits draft to editor
- Editor writes a letter to author that can be summed up as “bleh, rewrite it all”
- After a stiff drink, author submits draft #2 to editor
- Editor emails back the book bristling with comments and complaints
- After two more stiff drinks and some curse words, author submits draft #3
- Editor “ “ “ with comments and complaints, hopefully fewer this time.
- After four more stiff drinks, author submits not only a draft but her soul if only the editor will JUST ACCEPT THE STUPID BOOK.
- With a heavy sigh, the editor figures that’s the best she’ll get and sends the book to production
How do I feel about finishing? A bit stunned. A bit lost. Kind of relieved, but sad at the same time. I think it’s like the empty-nest syndrome.
However, there are plenty of plot threads to pick up and run with. I woke up at about three o’clock in the morning Wednesday night and suddenly I knew what one of the secondary characters wanted for her new plot arc. I wasn’t quite ready to hear about it, but I was delighted to know there are still stories to be told about the Baskerville universe. But not until after a brief respite in the real world. I seriously need to clean my house!