A Manuscript edit can be the most difficult part of writing. It can also be the most exciting. For me, it’s where the story really starts to develop. Characters begin to be more than just names on paper. Events become more than just ideas. The story starts to flow and the book is born. Manuscript editing can also be the most fulfilling part of writing a story.
Black Friday took more than a year to write, although the current version only contains 82,000 words and the first draft was 20,000 words shorter.
As an inexperienced writer, I believed the first draft would be handed off to an editor who would polish the manuscript and create a final version ready for publication. Needless to say, this was a strict misunderstanding of how things work.
After choosing Keven Anderson & Associates of New York, I emailed the Word document and patiently awaited the finished book. Instead, what came back was a beaten and bruised copy with hundreds of corrections, suggestions, comments and questions. I expected misspellings and improper grammar and punctuation, but verb tense was never on my radar; nor were many other problems. Unfortunately, KAA was unable to complete the edit and I proceeded in another direction.
It was easy to enlist Facebook friends to read, edit and critique the story, so the book was emailed to more than 30 people. Some never completed the story and gave nothing back, others provided limited but helpful – albeit general – feedback. Still others gave good feedback and some edits to the story. A few readers provided not only basic feedback, but detailed edits and revisions to the story.
I was repetitive with more than a few items in the story, which may be expected with a new writer, but I also changed characters names periodically and without knowing. Questions were left unanswered and one whole section was left blank. This was left until later then totally forgotten. Some problems were expected, but many were not and I was overwhelmed with how much work the manuscript edit would take.
Thankfully, my friends were a lot of help with all these items. With a final reread and self edit, the story was ready for the next step; submission to Page Publishing and a final professional edit.
At this point, Back Friday – An American Jihad is complete and working its way toward a printed hardback and paperback version.