If you’ve been following this blog this week, you already know that I’m in the processing of reconstructing the last several chapters of Perfect Opportunities.
You also know I’ve made good progress so far.
I promised on Monday to explain why reconstruction is necessary. Especially since the next thing on the road to publication was professional editing.
Lost in Cyber Space
I officially finished Perfect Opportunities December 31, 2015.
Since then, I’ve been waiting. Trying to decide on the best course of action. One more round of revisions and review or grit my teeth and start looking for an editor?
My crit partner knows well what a perfectionist I am and advised me over Memorial Day weekend to look for an editor. Furthermore, she advised that I look for someone to do a developmental (big picture) edit. The whole hog. The whole nine yards.
I’ve finished a lot of manuscripts since writing my first complete story in the eighth grade.
I’ve shared some of those stories with others, for their advice and counsel and so I could get an objective look at where I needed to improve my writing.
But a developmental editor? That’s like going from Little League to the World Series in one step.
Was Perfect Opportunities ready?
Was I ready?
I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff, pondering that first step. A step that couldn’t easily be called back once taken.
My crit partner told me to square my shoulders and take the plunge. She even gave me a place to start.
So I did what I usually do when facing such decisions.
Then I hawed.
After a little more hemming and hawing, I went to my husband, told him what was up, and asked for a prayer. He prayed with me at once and I went back to the computer, determined to do what needed to be done.
Part of that was telling the prospective editor a little bit about my story. Most of it I could do without checking facts. When it came to word count, though, I couldn’t remember, so I opened the manuscript to look.
The word count displayed at the bottom of the document baffled me. Just over 32,000 on a manuscript that should have been at least twice that size. I skipped to the end of the document and discovered only half the story was there.
A moment of panic ensued, then I calmed myself with the thought that I had several backups. All I had to do was find the full manuscript in a backup folder and everything would be cool.
Panic turned to dismay, then to disbelief, and finally to the feeling that I’d been sucker punched.
None of the backup manuscripts were complete, either. After a search that took parts of two days and included every computer in the house, the best I could do was a manuscript that concluded with Chapter 25 and was about two-thirds complete. There was no trace of the two weeks worth of revision work that followed that manuscript.
It was all just…. Gone.
My first reaction, as you might guess, was to curl up in a ball and cry.
Then I wondered why I should bother with that story anyway. Why not just move on to something else?
Then a spirit of resolve settled over me. I still had my crit partner’s notes on those missing chapters—or could get them from her. All I had to do was copy them into the current manuscript and do the work over. Yes, it would be repeated effort, but chances were the story would be better this time around than it had been before.
With the resolve, came a sense of purpose.
Plan A was hubby’s plan. Attempt to retrieve the lost manuscript via recovery software. It was a worthwhile plan. One hat could save me hours of work.
So I held off my own efforts with the hope that his recovery attempts would be successful.
My plan was to begin putting the pieces back together on June 6. Assemble all the crits delivered by my crit partner, then make the necessary changes. I gave myself two weeks. After all, I’d done it once, right? I can do it again.
You already know how the first two days went. Much better than anticipated.
And with the LORD’s help, Perfect Opportunities will be better now than it was before.
Good enough to face the red pen of a developmental editor!