A Monday Editing Blog (AKA, “What’s the Deal with the Second Half of ELFY, Barb?”)
Folks, it’s been an interesting week around Chez Caffrey.
As most of you know, I’ve been struggling with my final edit for the second half of the ELFY duology, now titled A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE. (I like this title.) I haven’t discussed why I’ve been struggling so much, but there have been three things getting in my way.
Today seems like the time to discuss these things.
First, I’ve been doing a good amount of occupational therapy for my hands. They haven’t been good since I suffered a bad burn in February; that burn, which was to the left forefinger and left middle finger, set off a bad carpal tunnel flare-up. I went to the doctor, got treatment, and started doing exercises.
After almost two months of exercises, I’m now back to the point where I can type a good four or five hours every night. I still must needs take breaks, and of course I have to keep doing my exercises as well. But things have improved.
The second reason why I have been having trouble is because I wrote the book twelve-plus years ago. Times have changed. Some specific references needed to be updated. And because the book was split, I had to try to make the book appear like it could stand alone…though no matter what I do, it’s going to lean heavily on the first half of the book (AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE), as that’s by design.
(Clear as mud, right?)
My third reason for needing to take time with this? Well, you have to be in the right frame of mind to see what is actually in your own manuscript rather than what you think is there. This is the main reason most authors do not edit themselves; granted, I had an editor do the first pass for me, and I’m following what she said when I agree with it. But the editor didn’t read the first half of the novel, and that means some of what she said has to be taken with a huge grain of salt.
Now, I’m very fortunate in that I have two great mentors in my corner this time around: Stephanie Osborn and Katharine Eliska Kimbriel. They both have looked at my revised first chapter and have given me excellent advice. They also have been a strong sounding board, and have listened as I’ve wrestled with this final edit for the past several months.
What I try to do with the Elfyverse is to be consistent. I want to tell the best story I can. I’ve improved my actual writing mechanics a great deal since I originally wrote ELFY in 2002-3, and I want to reflect that…but I don’t want to take all the life out of the story, either.
It’s because I had this twelve-year break in the action that I can edit for myself at all.
And make no mistake about it: This is a full-on edit. It is not editorial changes, which is a much different animal. This is my own take on my own work, yes, but it’s also my older and wiser self editing my younger and more exuberant self, while trying to keep track of all the details — you may feel free to read “keep all the balls in the air” if you wish — at the same time.
So to answer the question I posed in my title…the deal with the second half of ELFY is that I’m working hard on it, and I hope to have it in to my long-suffering publisher very soon.
At that point, I’ll find out what the revised timetable is for publication, and I’ll be glad to trumpet that all over the Internet.
But until then, wish me well as I continue to recover from the worst carpal tunnel flare-up I’ve had in years. As I definitely need all the well-wishing I can get.