It would be fair to say that a late night working on edits is bad for the old peepers. I was up until one o'clock this morning trying to finish revisions so I could get the book away to Gillie. It really shouldn’t have taken that long but I found reading it so closely threw up lots of little tweaks I wanted to make. Happily I finally sent it to her and crawled into bed. The alarm this morning went off much too soon.
It’s a strange experience doing edits. On the one hand it’s easy to get defensive when someone else has read your book and suggested a particular paragraph doesn’t really add anything. An outside reader also notices your trademark peculiarities and quirks much more readily than you can do yourself. For example, one of mine is a love affair with the word ‘grimace’...
On the other hand it doesn’t help to become a raging perfectionist. Yes, there will always be little turns of phrase that seemed great at the time and now fall a bit flat. But at a certain point you have to step away from the manuscript and allow it to be prised from your sweaty paws. If you can’t take that leap of faith you’ll become one of those writers with ten unfinished novels lying in a drawer. Been there, got the t-shirt!
Reading a book is such a subjective experience. What I’m realising is that two people can read the same passage and have completely different views. It’s good to listen to some opinions you trust –but in the end you have to go with your gut.
Oh - and top tip: if you click on the picture link it will take you to a helpful page all about how to cover those black circles after a late writing session. When I think of my appearance this morning... It’s enough to make a girl grimace…!