Editing, Shop Class and Sandpaper


We’re into our final edits for The Method Writers. It’s proving to be an exercise in communication and patience to say the least. Having one writer out of the state has brought another challenging variable to the mix. I’ve always donned myself as the “newbie” when it comes to writing a book. I’ve never done it. Writing the book was the easy part. My eyes have been opened to how much work goes into editing and polishing the final product.

The whole process reminds me of shop class when I had to make a birdfeeder out of scraps of wood. I cut and glued the birdfeeder within the first two weeks of class.  The next eight weeks were spent on sanding and polishing the sucker. At first 40-grit sandpaper was used to saw down the rough edges. I compare this to our story line edits when we were writing The Method Writers. Then 80-grit sandpaper was used to remove small imperfections and marks from the birdfeeder’s surface. We used an 80-grit edit when the book was finished. When I began to stain the birdfeeder I used 240-grit sandpaper or, in other words, a “very fine” sandpaper to remove dust and particles. This is where we’re at right now with our edits; removing the dust and tiny particles that are within the pages of our novel.

When we’re done using the 240-grit edit, we’ll find a “superfine” editor to add luster and remove any tiny blemishes from our novel. And we’ll pay them very well! My birdfeeder found its way to the bottom of my locker. It was eventually brought home and hung from a shepherd’s hook in the back yard. I think this is where the analogy ends as the next challenge, the next adventure will be in marketing and selling The Method Writers. Which reminds me of an economics class……………..

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