Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Reading my book for the first time


Last week my publisher sent me the proof of my novel, “Invasive Thoughts”. The proof is the final edit. They send you the book without the covers (back or front) and ask you to look at the formatting for errors, not the actual words.

Obviously you can’t check the format without reading the book. So this was my first chance to actually read my own book without editing it. This may sound conceited but I enjoyed it.

The last time I read it was right after it was accepted and they gave me 2 days to make any final changes. Naturally I went through and rapidly made a bunch of changes totally about 10,000 words and saw all sorts of things I’d like to change but didn’t have the time. During the months that the book was in the hands of the publishers I only thought about all those things that I wanted to change but didn’t. My mind was filled with all the tiny details of every slightly awkward sentence in the book and every plot line that was nailed down with a tack hammer instead of a sledgehammer.

When I started reading it without being allowed to edit it I was able to look at it as a whole instead of taking it all apart. I could see there were some awkward phrases, but taken as a whole one sentence in a thirty page chapter is barely going to be noticed.

Also taking the book as a whole, if the wrapping up of a minor plot line is missed by the reader I believe the overall mood more than makes up for it.

So with my most objective reading of my book so far, it will be decades before I can stand back and be truly objective about it, I have to say it’s a book I can be proud of.

It makes me want to take my other books and put them in a PDF form and read them over and promise myself not to make any changes until after I’ve read the whole thing. But I don’t know if my willpower is strong enough to do that.

2 comments:

Stephanie B said...

You know, that's an interesting point. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

What could be better to say about your own work than that you really enjoyed reading it?

I read them out loud to my collaborator, making notes where I want to go back and fix this or that, but generally reading it straight through. I like my work, too.

Go figure.

askcherlock said...

I will look forward to your publication of this book. You are such a good writer, I believe all your readers will enjoy it as much as you did. Let us know when it's out, okay?