The morning I finished my first draft I sat at my desk and stared at my computer screen in shock. I had done it. I had written a first draft of my book. I texted the few people who knew about it and proceeded to walk around my house aimlessly for the rest of the day. After the high of writing my book I was now faced with the question of now what?
I scoured other writers blogs for the answer. Take a week or two off seemed to be the general consensus. But how? How was I supposed to do that? I needed to get right back into the thick of it. The story and that of the next two was fresh in my mind. I had to get going.
So I sat down and read through my masterpiece only to realize it was a piece alright..a piece of crap. The story was there but the grammar and repetitive words flashed before me and in doing so a cloud of doubt hung over my head like a cartoon.
My cousin told me not to focus too much on my second draft. That’s what copy editors are for she said. Alright, I can look beyond it. All I have to do is make sure my story is the best it can be and then I will send it off to some stranger to rip it apart. Gulp.
I decided to do a little research and found a lovely little pro writing editing site. I copied my prologue in, pushed the analyze button, and proceeded to have my whole body deflate when the report came back. 7 overused words, 23 grammar and spelling mistakes, 41 diction mistakes, and so forth.
Holy F*ck! Really? How in God’s name did I use the word was 24 times? And how am I supposed to fix that!!
Deep breath in and off to work I went it. All 25 chapters. 308 pages. 95,454 words.
I will admit, when I got a small report back, I did a little booty dance in my chair. When I got back a lengthy report I swore. Excessively.
Fundamentally though it was the right thing to do. Now I wish I would have taken the time to edit each chapter as I went along with my first draft. Lesson learned. I did take great pleasure in adding and changing the story up a bit. I have an amazing friend who read the story and offered me wonderful critiques and suggestions.
I was grateful for my friend and my mother. They both gave me fantastic support. Unfortunately for them I was going to need them now more than ever.
Apparently a copy editor charges $7 a page or $40 an hour. I completely understand their rates. It’s a tough job. But for a stay at home Mom of three with Christmas coming up I had the devastating realization that I may not be able to afford a copy editor.
Oh my gosh. My dream is over before it even started. How the hell am I supposed to edit this book by myself? How am I supposed to make people love this story and want to read it with a million typos? Can I really do this?
To be continued..