Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What NOT to Do

I just finished the "final" edit of my 645 page manuscript, ready to send it off to Jeff Gerke. My last editing task--the finishing touch--was to replace all the double spaces between sentences with one. (I haven't yet re-trained my fingers to do only one).

The final save took an awfully long time to complete. A bad sign. That little circle just kept going round and round. I got up and walked away from my computer, praying as I went.

When I came back it had completed. Relieved, I saved all the changes. Then I discovered that the last edit had removed every space from between every word in the whole text. Just over 165,000 corrections.

I hate that "Cannot undo" message.

So what did I learn from this experience?

I learned what not to do:

Do not use the "find" tool to remove double spaces between sentences unless you know what you're doing and do it right.

I learned what to do:

Do save a separate file of your manuscript after every day's edit. If you don't, one careless tap of a key can invalidate every change you've made for the last two weeks.

This caution applies especially if you are putting the final touches on a perfect manuscript that is going to cause an editor to stay up all night reading because your story is so exciting he just can't put it down.


Cheryl Martin said...

Oh my, Ginny!

What did you do to solve the "no spaces" deal?

Praying for your submission.

Ginny Jaques said...

I wrote the last week of edits off as practice revision and submitted the week-old version to Jeff. It's funny. Michael Hyatt's article this morning was about "permanent beta" I've decided my manuscript will be in permanent beta mode. Check out his advice.

Karla Akins said...

And this is why I now have Carbonite on my computer -- so I can backup constantly. Another thing I try to remember to do is e-mail my last edit to myself. We writers must get in the habit of doing so!

As for permanent beta -- I am so there...

Joanna Mallory said...


I hope the version you sent is well-received. Love to have you show up on the Marcher Lord Press roster!