Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Editing Disaster


Three new fabrics have been added to the Mask Array, plus a new "button" that makes the elastic loops adjustable (at long last). For photos, see below. For details on the other masks available, click here.

My latest Regency Gothic, coming soon (c. 8/6/20)

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As everyone who reads my blog knows, I have been harping on self-editing since 2011. Needless to say, I consider myself an expert on the subject. But I recently I got my comeuppance, one of the most humbling and embarrassing experiences of my life. I have been considering a spin-off series from my Regency Warrior books, most particularly from characters in The Lady Takes a Risk and The Abominable Major. But after somewhere around thirty Regencies, I needed to re-visit these two books in order to get plot, characters, and timeline straight. So . . .

I downloaded both books to my Kindle and began to read. I chortled over Lady—it had been long enough since I wrote it that it was almost like reading someone else's book, and I'd forgotten it has a lot of humorous moments. And then I began The Abominable Major.  Almost instant shock. I frowned, started taking notes. By the time I got to the fourth scribbled page of missing words or other odd glitches, I was frantically thinking back, trying to puzzle out what happened.

My standard editing routine:  1) edit after each chapter; 2) edit again after each 5 chapters: 3) edit from the top; 4) repeat edit from the top; 5) if I've made a number of revisions in the second run-thru, I do a third edit from the top. After that it's 1) a code check in Word Perfect; 2) transfer to Microsoft Word; 3) codes on, a last edit from the top.

Even after all that, a few mistakes will still get through, but not many. Yet Major was riddled with errors - fourteen pages of notes, to be exact. So what happened? (I don't deny some of the errors were mine - I made the disastrous mistake of not re-reading Lady before I began Major, a direct sequel, which meant that the continuity errors were mine. Aargh!

With my pride sorely wounded, I went back to the manuscript I uploaded to Amazon . . . and couldn't find it. Oops. There was an earlier copy in Word Perfect and what I thought was an up-to-date backup on G drive, but nothing in "My Documents." That's when a vague memory came back. Ever since I moved to Longwood, there have been unexplained power glitches—middle of the day, perfect weather—a blink, a click, the computer shuts itself off. The microwave clock keeps going. The oven clock has to be reset. Every. Darn. Time. And, of course, the computer has to be rebooted—everything new on the page gone forever. I do give credit to Lenovo that my machine powers back up every time, no matter how rudely it was shut off, but . . . !

And, finally, I recalled that is what happened when I had the entire final version of The Abominable Major open. Beyond that, I have no idea where the fault lies. Did I resurrect from G drive a manuscript a couple of edits back? Did the power glitch itself rip away the latest edits? Or . . . I've tried to recall anything that might have distracted me from proper editing, and come up with zilch. So, for whatever the reason this manuscript went astray, I have uploaded a revised version of The Abominable Major, which will be on sale at 99¢ through the end of August. (Online vendors include Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple & Kobo.) I also offer my abject apologies for the far-less-than-perfect manuscript uploaded July 20, 2019.

1.  Never write a sequel without a close read of the book that came before it! 
2.  If any kind of power glitch rears its ugly head—whether in Draft or Final Copy—do not take it for granted that your manuscript survived unscathed.
3.  Never get so complacent you don't do that last run-through you absolutely, positively do not want to do. 
4.  Never forget that just when you think you know it all, editing can turn around and stab you in the back.

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Mask Feathers

Mask Hearts

Mask Pink Flowers

The new sliding "button" that makes the elastic adjustable

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For Blair's website, click here.
For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Amazon, click here.

For a link to Shadows Over Greystoke Grange on Smashwords (20% free read), click here.

For a link to Blair's updated Facebook Author Page, click here.

Thanks for stopping by,
Grace (aka Blair Bancroft)

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Grace. My goodness. I'm reading this at a good time, as I'm in edits for my 8th book. We do have power glitches some and I've never thought to check. I certainly will in the future. I think you've hit on what happened, though and I'm impressed you made the changes and re-released the book. A class act. :)