Monday, February 25, 2008

What, no do overs?

I am a big fan of second chances. Mainly because I mess up a lot.

One of the worst feelings is knowing that you've made a mistake and not being able to go back and correct it. I found myself in that uncomfortable predicament last week while reviewing the galley copy of my upcoming release Release Me.

Once the book is in galley form, you're only allowed to make the most minute corrections. No editorial changes are allowed, at least as far as my publishing house is concerned. It was extremely frustrating to read over the manuscript, notice things I could have done better, yet not be able to correct them. Seriously, if there was a bed of hot coals around, I would have offered to walk over them in exchange for making a few changes.

I'm a better writer than I was a year and a half ago, when I first turned in this book. Heck, I want to believe I'm a better writer than I was when I turned in my revisions back in November. I spotted an entire scene that I thought the book could do without, and countless sentences that I would have rewritten, or just scrapped completely. Why, oh why am I not allowed to go back and correct my many mistakes?

On the other hand, I could edit and revise a book to death if given the chance. Maybe it's better that once a book gets to this stage, there are no do overs.