I heard from my editor last week about my third book, which comes out next April. He forwarded me the wording that will be on the back cover of the book and asked for my input. He hopes to send me his editorial notes on my manuscript this week and then I can get started on the serious business of editing.
His email got me very excited about the book all over again. He’s had the manuscript since the beginning of May; during that time I’ve been working on two other books and, of course, promoting Secrets of Hallstead House and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, but I found that I’m chomping at the bit to get back into that manuscript.
But taking a break from a manuscript is essential.
Why, you ask?
By the time a manuscript is sent to the editor, the writer has read the book at least a billion times and it’s hard to take a step back and look at it critically. It’s like trying to take a critical look at a newborn baby. It’s impossible. Taking a break and working on something else allows the writer’s subconscious to ruminate on the manuscript. It also allows the writer to read the manuscript, once it comes back from the editor, with relatively fresh eyes. It’s easier to catch mistakes, easier to see plot holes, easier to see the story arc. I know my manuscript contains mistakes and plot holes–I just couldn’t find them when I submitted it. The story was too fresh–it was the only thing I could think about. I needed to get away from it for a while and now I’m ready to delve into it again, to polish it and make it better.
This isn’t just true with manuscripts, by the way. I’ve found that taking a break from something, a problem or an issue, often helps me see things more clearly. Even if it’s just overnight. You’ve probably heard it said that “everything looks better in the morning” (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that). It’s good advice. There’s a reason people say they have to “sleep on it” before making a decision. Taking a break before making a decision or taking some kind of action gives you the distance you need to see an issue more clearly, to see options and alternatives.
Try it. You’ll be glad you did.
I’m glad I got a break from that manuscript, but I’m ready to tackle it now. I hope to get the cover art soon, too, and when I do I’ll share it here first. I can’t wait!!
Until next week,