Sunday, November 09, 2003
I’m done. Can I have my life back now please? After a month of working all but full-time at the day job and coming home to work flat out on the book, I’m delivering the final draft tomorrow.
I think it’s better than it was, but there’s a wood and trees thing going on, so I really can’t tell any more. At a micro level, a large number of the individual sentences have definitely improved. It’s a little scary how much work the manuscript could still soak up productively.
The word count is down from 85,000 to 78,000, and I reckon you’d be hard pushed to spot the removals. A few bits that I liked had to go, which was sad, but I realised that me liking them wasn’t a good enough reason for them to stay in, if they upset the flow of things. Maybe I’ll do a collectors’ edition with a DVD of deleted scenes. Most of them revolve around food. But most of the deletions have been the odd sentence here or there, or even a clause that’s been tightened. Out went a lot of the adjectives too.
Halfway through the edits I was grumpy as fuck and wanted to throw the laptop out the window. It’s been the hardest part of the process so far.
I’ll see the damn thing twice more – once when the line by line edits come back, and again when the page proofs are ready. But even if I think another month could improve the book further, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and I just couldn’t bring myself to keep polishing indefinitely. All my journalism and web writing experience has taught me just to get it out the door and leave it at that.