Committed—Self-publishing Part 5: Development edit—The rewrite
By the time I started to attack the text itself, I’d generated very many pages of notes and a copious number of ideas on note pads, in emails to myself, in Evernote and Scrivener. Even more appeared as I marched through every sentence from the first to the last. What of these piles of notes, plus the 20,000 words of cuts?
Was this now all a waste? Of my time, effort and imagination?
Then, I realized I could give this away: all these deleted scenes, false starts, and pages of behind the scenes documents can be repurposed as freebies for anyone who signs up for the mailing list, or joins the FaceBook group, or follows the FaceBook page, or aperfectblindness.com. Ideas for how to repackage all this material kept suggesting themselves while I transformed A Perfect Blindness into a new book.
When I first submitted the manuscript months before, I’d been burned out on it after the many versions over the past two decades: four completely different versions that shifted in person, in starting points, by adding frames, and in changing endings (even titles going from Jennifer Y to And She Smiled to Hey You, It’s Me to A Perfect Blindness), and the innumerable edits of each different incarnatin; I’d been certain I’d never have the will to completely rewrite this book yet again.
But that unpleasant gift from the developmental editor set a new fire in my mind that burned with a “hard gemlike flame”.
The rewrite took from mid August 2015 to the end of May, 2016. Much of these ten months was hijacked by other life demands, but the difficulty of the task made the time spent actually rewriting slow going, full of note checking and remembering forgotten points. Importantly though, I was under no deadline, no outside pressure. It’s my book and I’m paying for it, so it goes at my pace. I rushed nothing, and checked every change against the copious notes.
Finished with the latest, lightest version, I sent it off to iUniverse for the next step—the content edit. This editor gets down to the style, syntax and grammar of the writing itself, while making sure I addressed the developmental editor concerns.
Oh, yes, I did. Be sure of that. But not in the way Developmental Editor suggested. Nor in a way anyone could have imagined.
Then, I waited. Again. This time for seven weeks.
In the mean time, iUniverse suggested that I work on all my marketing materials, which included the cover design. I received a link to ThinkStock from which I could choose cover images. Because the full developmental package includes help in cover design, I needed to create a concept for their designer. I mocked up three. Generated back cover text. Rewrote my bio, and the keynote pitch, and all the assorted elements that would represent A Perfect Blindness in the real world.
One thing that had always nagged at me, since the initial Editorial Evaluation, was the genre of A Perfect Blindness—it doesn’t have one, yet it must have a BISAC code, a number that helps determine where a work would be shelved in a bricks-and-mortar store or the genre(s) under for which it can be searched in an online store. This has been confounding.