I am currently editing the still-untitled Book 2 of the Cigars and Legs series. I have a few ideas for titles, but we want to get through the process before finalizing anything. It’s going to have to come soon as I intend to publish the thing in under a week. (Luckily, the editing and proofreading is mostly done and it’s just one more pass for me, the cover, and then the publishing.)
Fortunately for me, I married a former professional editor and proof-reader. That’s right, Bendy* used to get paid to read manuscripts and make sure they weren’t full of the types of errors that I am so prone to make. It seems my biggest two vices are: Starting sentences with the word “which” and misusing commas. I either use too many, or too little, but never the right number.
It’s kind of interesting being in the room with someone who is furiously bleeding on the page with ink as they fix your mistakes. Usually it doesn’t go that way; I can write with her in the room, even if she’s watching me, but I get squeamish if she’s editing in my presence. Fortunately her day job also involves tasks that look like editing, so I can’t be 100% sure what she’s doing. Unless she tells me.
For those of you who are about to be going through the notes left by an editor, here are the Cigars and Legs tips for getting through it:
– First, remember, editors and proof-readers are human, even if when reading the notes you think they are grammar and plot enforcing Nazi aliens. Sometimes I am simply amazed at the intricate stuff that Bendy knows about language, even though I know damn well this has been her job for a long time.
– If you like Scotch, I recommend a 12 year old Sherry-cask aged variety. If you don’t like Scotch, may I recommend a dirty, salty martini (gin, vodka, whatever!)? If you don’t like either of those, may I suggest a dark beer? Or a red wine — especially Merlot. Merlot is good for all writing occasions, and better for editing. If you don’t like any of those, perhaps a bourbon, or a rum-based mixed drink? If you don’t like alcohol, are you sure you are a writer?
– After finishing the entire run through of your now improved work, I would like to suggest a cigar. But not a premium, yummy cigar. No, a nice, quality second instead. You don’t get the premium until you put the thing out for the general public to read.
Taken together, these things should make for a much less painful editing process!
* Bendy is my nickname for the Wife, a leggy inspiration who puts up with the insane amount of crap I ask her to proofread.