Monday, June 10, 2013

Editing sprint

I spent the weekend editing my nonfiction book. Hence the little mini-hiatus on my blog. (I'm trying to write a little something pretty regularly, though not necessarily every day.)

Usually with nonfiction, it's pitched and sold based on the proposal. My proposal was buffed and sent to publishers last week, but it turned out someone actually wanted to see the book itself, and--being an Insecure Writer™--I wanted one more whack at proofing it before sending it off. My agent informed me of the request on Thursday and I was already at work, and she was going to be out Friday, so I couldn't send it to her for delivery earlier than Monday anyway. Might as well use the time wisely and make sure it looks good.

But it's kind of like auditioning for a play and thinking you have months to learn your lines and then finding out you open next week.

I recently decided--based on feedback from various people--that I wanted to incorporate some words from other asexual bloggers in the community, to help humanize the asexual experience and make the book both a little less dry and a little more visually interesting. People connect to personal stories, but the down side of incorporating others' stories would be an increase in the length of the book. I didn't want it to be perceived as a journal book. So I decided to feature short quotes in little boxes throughout, and finding the quotes and securing permission takes time.

I was in the process of collecting those, just kinda humming along taking my time doing it, when I was told to send in a complete manuscript. Buh.

So the version my agent is showing the publisher is not complete and not all of the quotes I want to use have been approved by their authors. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, I spent the weekend trying to smooth the whole thing out since, you know, it's never been anything but a prickly little draft on my computer, picked over by my huge test audience. This isn't like fiction where I don't even try to submit it for any professional opinions until it's buffed and polished.

I'm an extremely patient person. I can stare at a screen trying to complete a task for days, weeks, months. I have what I think might be the polar opposite of ADD: a pretty much infinite attention span. But this weekend, boy did I get sick of my book.

I didn't stop, though. ;)

So now it's reasonably polished and the quote-collecting thing is still in progress, but I'm sure it won't hold me up at this point. I'm just glad I had a complete draft when we started submissions.

Waiting for good news.


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