Editing is such a painful process. I have been writing and rewriting for what seems like a century. I thought my reviews would take one, maybe two passes. But I am at about a half dozen and counting. The first draft needed refinement before I could send my story out to my beta readers. Then I applied all the wise feedback from those people. Next I started the query endeavor. I successfully convinced two agents to read my manuscript. One sent back a detailed page of suggestions and indicated an interest in rereading my pages once her new ideas were applied. Now I am ready to do the FINAL pass and send everything to the Library of Congress to get that copyright registered.
Who would have thought red ink marks spread across pages could cause such intense reactions? (Did you know in the Chinese culture a document with red ink corrections is considered the ultimate in rudeness?) Over the course of so many re-reads, I have learned that criticism is a positive thing. It means I have readers who are helping me see the mistakes that my eye skims over and my brain fixes in a disappearing act: the missed punctuation, the tired use of a favorite phrase perhaps a dozen times, the automatic spell checker alert complete with wavy underlines that I skimmed past and “approved”. Now I am at the precipice gazing over the great divide and thinking this read will be the final draft. I hope so because that is just the first step in a long line of challenging unknowns ahead as I proceed to the publication phase. The plot thickens.