This thing happens where when you’ve been looking at a manuscript too long, it stops making any sense. You make a change and all of a sudden you have the old version in your head and the new version. So every little alteration, every nudged plot point or added detail or changed motivation becomes a new branch in the multiverse of your manuscript that you keep in your head and at some point, you’re not humanly able to be certain that any of it makes sense.
That’s why you have friends who will beta for you. I just sent my manuscript off to my beloved so she can tell me if it works or if at some point, I lost my marbles. It could be one or the other. It could be both!
You read your own book so many times. Even while I’m writing it for the very first time, I’m always going back and reading it from the start to remind myself of what happens as it gets longer. And then you re-read it a bunch of times before you submit it. And then you re-read it a bunch of times during the editing process. And then you re-read it a bunch of times during the proofing process. I cannot stress to you how many times you read your own book.
I think about it while I’m driving now, going over changes in my mind or writing beautiful sentences and then forgetting to put them in when I get to a place where I can actually add them.
It’s tempting to want to always be adding things, but at a certain point you really do have to cut yourself off, otherwise the editors are going to want to kill you and also, if you keep doing that, the book will never be done.
I’ve been carrying around the book on an old Summer Reading flash drive. I have versions saved in different places, but the working copy lives on the flash drive and I know it’s a terrible plan. What if the flash drive decides not to work? What if the flash drive falls out of my bag? What if one of my coworkers is like, oh my god I need a flash drive and then reads my book and tells me they hate it? What if a crow flies in through the window and snatches it to add to their Little Mermaid-like collection of human things?
Anyway, edits are going good! Thanks for asking. I’m fine. Everything is super fine.