We've been through copyediting. That was about a month or two ago. Time flies.
During that stage of the process, I changed sentences, checked time frames, made sure my characters' names, hair colors, etc, were consistent. Answered all the copyeditor's questions. There were a few. Okay more than a few.
Chapter headings, italics, the "handwritten" notes set off in different fonts, etc.
(No, that's not what the actual cover art will look like. Stay tuned for that as soon as I can share.)
Now this is our chance to fix tiny things. Like whether a question mark might be better than that period I originally thought worked.
Or whether it's possible that a bucket of night crawlers would cost $.50 in 1974.
(Yes, because my brother and his fishing buddy Galen told me so. It's a big bucket.)
This time I didn't get as many Stets as before.
That means should we leave it as is, for voice?
For example, "I swan"-- which we all recognize as a real word, right?
Maybe because this novel isn't as southern as GLORY BE was.
Or maybe this editor grew up in the South and has a southern granny in her family.
Tomorrow, off it goes. Back to my editor.
All 170-plus pages of THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY!
PS If you're still reading...
After meticulously going over the entire manuscript for the zillionth time this weekend, I decided I could finally toss out some of the old printed chapters I'd saved during revision. And I discovered some interesting (to me! Possibly to no one else!) things.
1. The first time I showed it to a professional in the book business was in 2004 at a Rutgers One-on-One conference when my mentor was Sally Keehn.
My agent, Linda Pratt, was also there. Fun to imagine what would have happened if our paths had crossed way back then.
2. One of my longest critiquing friendships has been with my buddy Janet McLaughlin. She's now in my actual Florida writers group (Go, Skyway Writers!). But I bet she doesn't remember seeing THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY when we were in that now defunct online group, many moons ago. Many titles ago. Many character deletions and renamings ago.
The group didn't last long for us, but I continued to tap away at this book and Janet continued to comment.
I also smiled to see other familiar names critiquing my early versions.
When Sue Laneve organized a new Pinellas County Florida group, I found my people.
My very first SCBWI Critique group.
Hello, Denis, Sylvia, Lenore et al.
(Old chapters, ready for recycling!)