I had a totally different post in mind for today, but I just got the book format version of my novel Liquid Fire from the publisher.
My brain is on a wild pendulum ride from a stunned, “Wow. I actually wrote a book.” to a frantic, running aimlessly from place to place while screaming, “I wrote a book!”. At some point I will collapse, but before that happens I have this formatted version to proof.
In case you were wondering, no, this is not the end of the editing process. Once you go through all the cycles of developmental editing, copy editing, etc., you end up in the magical world of format editing. In this world paragraphs can fragment, scattering themselves across the page with wild abandon. Sentences vanish part way through, often to never appear again. Punctuation gets up and does a little dance just to make sure you’re paying attention.
It’s suddenly like a Where’s Waldo book. (For those of you who don’t know who Waldo is, his was a book filled with hundreds of people and you had to search for him and his little white and red striped hat.) I have to scour each page looking for errors and idiosyncrasies while being fully aware I will not catch everything until after it’s printed and the ink is dry.
Strangely, seeing it in book format actually makes it easier for me to spot the errors. From now on I will do at least one early edit in each novel with the story in book format. I have always been an avid reader, and I must have learned a lot while reading because I’m noticing things that slipped by in the other format. Nothing necessarily wrong, and I don’t want to get too into it and ruin it for any who will read this post and the book, but there are definitely things I would do differently if I’d seen it this way back in the earlier editing rounds.
Lesson learned today? I should work in multiple formats while editing so I can see things more clearly. And I need to learn better breathing exercises for calming the pendulum swing. hahaha