...which is pretty much all I've been doing for the past two weeks -- along with keeping Josie two and three days a week. (I'm using Josie pics for this post because pics of me editing would be pretty dull.) I've been editing 60 pages a week for my class along with doing a read through of my 334 page novel (actually, I did it twice) in response to my editor's line edits--I needed to accept or reject them.
This was my last chance to to tweak sentences and improve word choice. After this, if I want to make changes (other than typos or compositor errors, it will cost me.)
This is standard industry practice and makes sense. Because, alas, it's always the case that another read-through will reveal things the writer wishes she'd done differently.
This time, in spite of the fact that I've probably read through the novel twenty times, tweaking merrily as I went, I still found things to improve-- places to eliminate unnecessary words, to fix repetitions, to double check against some possible anachronisms.
I think that since I've been editing class work for several months now, my editorial eye was sharper and more attuned to really picky details. As I always tell the folks in my critique classes, editing other people's work will make you a better editor of your own stuff.
And for a bonus, I finally came up with a closing couple of sentences I like. On every previous read, I'd questioned my choice of words there. What happens at the end hasn't changed but I think the words are better.
And I'm really pleased with the novel as a whole. I love most of the characters and those that I don't, I at least have some sympathy for. They have become incredibly real to me.
I felt like celebrating when I hit SEND late Thursday night and returned the manuscript to the editor. Now a proofreader will go through it and eventually, so will I again.
Meanwhile, I've got forty more pages to edit for class next Thursday, after which I can lay down the electronic red pencil and think about things like Christmas gifts and Thanksgiving food. And all those cobwebs lurking in corners and under chairs. Now that Halloween's past, I can't claim them as decorations any more.