My Work Published

Unruly Children

My proof copy arrived a couple of days ago and all I can say is thank heavens for proofs!

A number of the pieces in this collection have been published elsewhere in other anthologies and lit mags however seeing them all together like this is at once both gratifying and quite frankly, a little scary.

Scary simply because I thought I had done a really good job on the final draft of the manuscript. When I had my proof copy in my hot little hands I hastily revised my opinion on that.  There are 19 short stories and flash fictions pieces in this collection plus a small number of prose poetry pieces.  It wasn’t until I read them straight through, one after another, that I realised what should have been blindingly obvious all along and that is how often I had used similar sounding metaphor and similies in different stories.

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The ugly truth about proof reading. These are all the tags and notes from something I thought I had already finished. Hanging my head in writerly shame.

A fair bit of revising ensued but I am grateful for it because it has given me the opportunity to make this work the best I can make it. It did remind me though, that revision can be a double edged sword.  I think all writers understand that to some degree their stories are a little like children and in that respect you want to send them off into the world in the very best way that you can.  Given the opportunity to completely revise my manuscript, the temptation to start tinkering, rearranging and slicing was a very strong one. I thought I would get it all done in just an evening and have eventually spent about a further 30 hours on something I had already thought finished.

It just goes to show though, that sometimes there is more work to be done, that there’s always room for more polishing and editing, always a rogue em-dash, or colon where it shouldn’t be.  I’ve finally finished and uploaded the file back to the printer and I hope I can at last, bid a fond but final goodbye to these sometimes difficult and unruly children.

I was feeling overly pleased with myself at being well ahead of my new schedule for this book, I should have known better since that’s just the point where the Muse sticks her foot out and laughs her head off as you trip over it and sprawl, full-length flat on your face.

2 replies »

  1. Never mind about the schedule, it’s the writing that counts. Your hours of polishing will be well worth it and you will have the satisfaction of a job well done. When you look at the finished result, you’ll know the extra push at the end made all the difference. That Muse can be a bully, but you’ve kicked her into submission now.
    Well done, Sallie. I really can’t wait to have a copy in my hands.
    PS I love all your stickers and tags. I have a pile just like it and it warms my heart to know I’m not alone.

    • Now I don’t feel so bad either, it’s completely astonishing how much you can miss on the first 37 drafts 🙂 I have decided that as long as the formatting and grammar is right on the proof this time I am really letting go. Honestly I really am!