writing rengeek magpie mind

July 2014

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*whimper*

Ah, page proofs.

The only thing on earth that can make me feel worse about my writing is the actual published novel.

Wow, listen to that prose clunk.

Oh well, too late to change it now.

Comments

"Did I write this? Was there a mixup at the publishers? I'm sure I wrote something far better. What is this changeling book?"
I got up this morning in a bad mood. Bad mood still lingers. Son asks, "why are you in a bad mood?" "I dunno," I reply.

Then I remember. Yesterday I finished the page proofs of latest novel.
Why ARE they so terrible? It's just reading for typos and dropped lines. :-P

And yet, argh.
For me personally, I write long and I am continually cutting through every draft and semidraft and semidemidraft. But it's never enough. Each round of cutting sets off new things in relief, and then when I get the page proofs I haven't seen the book for a couple of months plus it is in a different font and spacing, so all those additional excess phrases and words that I didn't see before POP OUT AT ME.

And then I hate myself.

Also, if there are any slight plot elements that niggle at me, there they are in all their screaming "can't-change-me-now!" glory. Just this morning I had a thought about the gender of a child, a brilliant thought, lo! But then I remembered: too late! And the mocking voices cackled in my direction.

iow, it's truly out of my hands now. The anxiety sets in.

Yep. And now people are going to read it and make fun of it on the Internets.

It's a dog's life.

*g*
or worse - they're not going to talk about it at all.
Aieeee! Don't speak of it! ;-)
You published authors...
Silly things you.
HIRE PEOPLE.
Like the H&R Block commercial series, "I've got people."

Hey Bear, you done with your proofs yet?

"Proofs? No I don't do my own proofs anymore, I've got people."
First of all, that costs money. Do you have any idea what writers get paid?

Second, they couldn't turn it around in five days; they'd laugh at me.

Third, they can't very well fix my crappy sentences, and they're unlikely to notice plot holes, aren't they?

Do I have any idea what writers get paid?
Perhaps not as common knowledge I thought on the LJ friends list but I did play personal assistant to a well known and very prolific fantasy author for some time, which included financials and prepping tax documents --- so yes, I know exactly what writers get paid --- even "famous" writers.

This was meant as a bit of silliness really.

In fact, you shouldn't have to write your own books --- you've got people :P
I've got a line on a friend who happens to (a) be a decent SF short story writer himself, and (b) edits and copy-edits for a living. He's willing to work over my novels on a freelance basis for money (but not his full commercial rate), he's meticulous, he has a very good idea what to look for, and if I hit overload he's usually able to save my sorry ass. Also, paying him is a business expense (i.e. it works out cheaper than you might expect, in the end when the tax bill is due).

Even so, when I use him (on about a third of my books -- where I expect the publisher's in-house proofreading to be crap, or where I'm hopelesssly overloaded) I still go through it, checking his changes and giving the rest of the text a quick skim. It saves about 50-70% of the legwork, but it's not a magic wand to get out of proofreading free and clear.
We are our own worst critics. (or something like that)

*hugs*
P.s. I pimp your books to co-workers on a regular basis. They like so you must be doing something right.
*g* thank you.

It would probably help if I hadn't read this book ~10 times since April.
Ten times?

/dies

I couldn't do that. I'm a slow reader, and easily bored. Plus, by the fifth pass, I'm totally word-blind -- and if that hits in the copy edits, tough.
I'm a fast reader, and easily bored. But I am dogged. :-P

I usually have read the entire thing four or five times by the time I'm done with the *first draft,* actually. Then there are two or three more drafts before it goes to my editor, and then the revision, and then the CEM, and then...

the page proofs.

I usually don't even crack the finished books when they're delivered to me, except to look at the typeface.
But... but... I like your prose! A lot!
Thank you.

One gets really sick of a book after a while....
I feel your pain there, but on a much much much lower rung.
It could be worse, I guess. We could be eating grasshoppers.
It could be much worse. You might not have to be reading page proofs at all!

From my point of view, I always take it as an excellent sign if I can enjoy a book after the fourth reading.
*g* I usually send them in when I stop being able to stand them, which means that the revision pass kills any remedial love I had for the book, and by the time we get to the CEM and the page proofs, it's the worst book in the history of the land. :-P
Could be?

What? You mean they lied about their crunchy protein goodness?
Look at it this way, they (the publisher) liked it enough to put there time and money into it. We are ALWAYS our very worst critics.
It's a bitch.

I'm pretty sure it's just one of those annoying phenomena--totally subjective, freakout-moment 'this zit is visible from 100 meters' when in fact you're the only one who notices it. I bet the writing's fine. Let it be, say WTF. Things can get overcooked, too, spoiled by too much fiddling.

You work hard, gv yslf breax no?
All of which may be true, but doesn't decrease the subjective agony of reading a book for the tenth or fifteenth time.
Oh, dear.



It will be great.
I don't know why sentences and emoticons always get lost when I post on your blog, but the virtual tea and cupcakes have disappeared!

I'll get baking up another batch.