I’m hopefully on the home stretch for my work in progress. How can I tell? I printed it out last night. There’s something satisfying about seeing this big stack of paper and thinking “I wrote that!” It makes me feel very … authorial. (Is that even a word?)
I try not to kill too many trees, but I get to a point in editing the final drafts where I need to see it on paper. For some reason, I can only see some errors when they’re printed out. Things that I’d miss no matter how many times I saw them on the screen. Sometimes it’ll be something simple like a sentence that might work better later in the scene. And I think that’s why editing on a screen doesn’t work all the time. You need to see where each sentence is in relationship to the others on the page the way it would be in a book.
Others are more egregious errors, glaring errors that definitely should have been caught but got missed. Timelines – ten years in chapter 3, twelve years in Chapter 5. Details like eye color changing or names changing partway through (Yes,I changed a character’s name halfway through in Personal Protection. I shouldn’t feel too bad 3 of my 4 critique partners didn’t notice it in the final draft either. And don’t talk to my editor about how many names Rosie had in the original draft. Rosalinda. Rosie. Miss Ramos. Ms. Ramos. Miz Ramos. I think there were more too, I just can’t remember. These are things I should have caught myself and didn’t.) And some are just downright funny. My favorite today is a “his” where there should have been a “her” … very embarrassing when you’re talking body parts. 😉
There’ll be a ton of editing to do when I’ve finished reading. Apart from the corrections, I KNOW there are scenes to be moved, scenes to be added and fleshed out even more. But at least I’m starting to see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. Because this has been one loooooong, daaarrk tunnel.