Thursday, June 12, 2008

"You wrote a book? Really?" (Part 5)

...and gathering moth balls. Finally taking a closer look at this "thing" (for lack of a better word), the first thing that needed to be done, was to create a new title page. While the old one was quite nice, it had my ex-agents full address, etc. on it. Since I didn't know how exactly it was created, beyond the obvious, I had my work cut out for me. What I wound up doing, was to take the page to work and spend about fifteen minutes using a pair of scissors and the copier.

Next thing on the agenda was to data input the entire thing into my laptop. This was due to the fact that one of those pesky little rules that some manuscript contests have, is that the author's name can't be anywhere on the manuscript. Considering my name was plastered all over 375 pages (double spaced, per 99% of the agents/publishers known to mankind), that meant tweaking the header by removing my name. Which meant doing the item previously mentioned.

I then spent the next month inputting the entire manuscript into my laptop. Except for reducing the margins to one inch all around, I kept the format unchanged. I kept the crappy font and the same double spacing throughout. As I was typing, the first thing I noticed, was that the story got confusing in some places. Also found spelling errors and continuity problems as well. Still, I kept plugging away, at least until I got to about chapter 12, when I decided to take a closer look at what was revised versus what I wrote originally.

Well, lo and behold, I discovered that they did a relatively severe editing job on my manuscript. In their haste to make the manuscript presentable to the masses, they screwed with the pacing and narrative of the book. In my haste to get this thing sold to a publisher, I didn't do a very good job of checking the final version before giving my approval.

So, back to the beginning I went. I took out my original manuscript, and began revising the revision with the original. Definitely slow going, because I found so many continuity errors, that it would literally take me two days to input one chapter. By the time I got to the end, I found one last glaring error: the ending made no sense. Due to the wonderful editing job done by my ex-agent, the ending was gone. To rewrite the ending (basically about three paragraphs) took about three days.

By late February/early March, I had a viable manuscript to start submitting to agents again. Or so I thought...

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