Monday, June 13, 2011

Edit Day - Foundation for the Lost

I have been waiting for this moment since last Thanksgiving when I finished writing what I thought was my best story ever -- Foundation for the Lost. My manuscript came back from CreateSpace Saturday. The letter with it was very complimentary and professional. I spent all weekend incorporating the changes recommended. The big question: Did I get my $2000 worth? Well, on the plus side, she:
  • Introduced me to the Chicago Style Manual
  • Showed me a few more comma cornercases (without stating the grammar rule I violated)
  • Combined compound words into one in about 50 places
  • Saved me from about 25 embarassing mistakes like Ray said to Ray (that my 7 proofreaders missed)
  • Got me to better explain the action in about 10 places. I need more signposts
On the negative side
  • I found about 45 mistakes in her edits.
  • When I said that Aaron doesn't use contractions all the time, the editor got rid of them all for me (after the second chapter). He sounds like a Romanian now. I don't want people hearing Count Dracula when they read my story.
  • It did not take my writing to the next level. This is all there is--the Wizard of Oz has given me my diploma.
Other than art, this book could be ready to ship today. On the balance, the experience was good education to have once.  I can page through the Chicago Style Guide myself. Until I start selling over 1000 copies a year, the embarassing mistakes could be handled more economically by offering free books/Amazon gift cards to people finding typos like Joseph Devon does. As long as I don't damage my brand, that's what I'm planning to do.

Thank God my wife is supportive.


  1. Glad to hear they found some things we didn't. However, I'm sorry about the other things and that it wasn't what you hoped for. I'd say that Aaron using some contractions shows his adaptability to society and the language, but having him not do it all the time shows that it isn't an unrealistic adaptation.

  2. Chicago is a good resource, but it's not all about rules. Use of commas in particular can be dictated more by convention (what "just feels right") -- which is not to say there aren't some important rules! (Comma mistakes can make the sentence say something completely different from your intent.)

    It sounds like the signposts advice was good, from what you've written.

    For grammar, punctuation and usage, look to writers you like and see how they do things. Go forth and emulate. If your goal is to have these aspects not get in the way of your story-telling, that should serve you to the end of time. If your goal is to use these aspects as a part of your voice or your story-telling, then the time will come when you'll want to make your own choices -- consciously.

  3. That free gift card thing sounds like a brilliant idea. I might try that. I can't wait to see Foundation for the Lost published!