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For Me, Final Edit Did Not Mean FINAL edit

Ok, so more than one person is apparently confused about my editing process.  Since announcing that I was now moving into compiling my manuscript edit of Under the Darkened Moon, people have been saying to me things like, “But I thought you already did your ‘final’ edit?”

It’s true, I did do something that I did refer to as my “FINAL” (capital letters and all) edit.  But it didn’t mean that is was my “final” edit.

I’ve been writing and editing Under the Darkened Moon for over a year.  Each phase has had a different name.  There was the “free write” (rough draft).  There was the rewrite (a little less rough of a draft).  There was the hack and slash, OMG this story is over 200,000 words!, edit.  Then came a whole slew of just general tweaking, cutting, pasting, adding, deleting, and more rewriting drafts.  Finally, I decided that it was time start putting this baby to bed.  So I did a sweeping rewrite of everything that was still bothering me.

From there, my wife and I started on what was known as the “Live Read Edit.”  Every night we sat down and she, like the loving wife she is, read each of the chapters to me.  We made edits.  Then, often a day or two out of phase with that, I went in and hacked up the chapters myself.  Then came the so-called FINAL edit.  In that FINAL edit I took the Live Read edits and my “pre-FINAL” edits and combined them, trimming close to 10,000  words.

The purpose these two edits was to get the story in a form that I could compile it into a manuscript.  While compiling the manuscript, I am using a Text to Speech software that integrates right into MS Word.  I allow the TTS engine to read my story back to me.  This helps find all those instances where human brains auto-correct mistakes and read what the brain wants to see rather than what is really there.

Usually there is one or two of these spots in every chapter.  And I am finding them now.

So, you see, my FINAL edit was not really my FINAL edit.  The manuscript compilation edit is the final edit.  Maybe …

Just kidding!

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