Tense

Just when I thought I was on my way with the book, when it was ready to go, we’re finding even more edits to make.  I’d read that 3 rounds of edits should be made before sending off to publishers.  We did one round of edits and being impatient, I wanted to be done thinking it was good enough.  I was really excited to start the next round.  I did send out two queries to two different publishers to see if they’re interested.  I’m waiting to hear back from them at least.  Some only require query letters to start the process so I figured at least I could get that part going.  Most, however, want the first 3 chapters or 50 pages (which is the first two chapters of my book).  We decided to take a shortcut and edit just the first 2-3 chapters again so we get those sent out with more queries.  It then takes the publishers 3 months to read it and get back with an answer if they’re interested in representing it.  I’ll have 3 more books worth of content by the time I get the first one published.

Anyway, the reason for additional edits is because we’re finding I change tenses a lot.  A lot.  It’s very hard to write about things in the past that still apply to today.  For example.  “I love to cook”.  That’s very true and also very relevant to today but since I’m writing about it in the past, it should really be “I loved to cook”.  I’ve been itching to edit the book myself, which is what is supposed to be done, but Chris has cautioned against it.  I have a tendency to back peddle thinking that everything I’ve done is shit.  Many things in my life have been tossed in the trash because of it.  She’s afraid I’ll just delete the whole thing and then have to hear me cry about it for the next many, many years.  I think it’s important that I give it a review though.  I thought if we both do the first three chapters, then that would be three total edits.  While making the tense edits, I found that I wrote “I think” and “I guess” a million times.  Of course “I think”, it’s my book!  Ugh.  Just about all of those have been removed.  It was pretty simple.  “I think she was upset” changes to “She was upset”.  It was pretty much the same with “I guess”.  “I guess she was mad” changes to “She was mad”.

While removing “I think” and “I guess”, I found that another tense issue was using “This” instead of “That” and “Don’t” instead of “Didn’t”.  Aarrggghh!  It took me all day yesterday to make the first round of edits.  Today will be this next round, changing this to that and don’t to didn’t.  Hahaha.

My plan is to copyright the work once I finish the edits.  I’ve really struggled with it because I want it to be the best it can be before I do that but it takes 3-5 months for the copyright to come through and if I wait until we’ve finished the whole book again, it’ll be another 2 months on top of that.  And it just doesn’t make sense to send out my book to publishers and agents without some sort of protection on it.  Anyone could read it, take the idea/premise or even the actual pages and run with it for themselves.

Such a long process.  I better get to it.  I need to be reading now, not writing.

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