The second draft

Plaster cast of my teeth before dental work (c.1972)

Plaster cast of my teeth before dental work (c.1972)

So. I haven’t posted recently, partly because I have been on holiday (very nice, thank you for asking) but mainly because I have been working on the second draft of a non-fiction book.

It turns out the revision process is much like going to the dentist. I don’t enjoy it, but I know I have to do it, and in the end it will be good for me, or, in this case, good for the book. The physical manifestations of the revision process are sighing, swearing, occasional shouting and a fair bit of pacing (I write standing up most of the time, so the pacing isn’t too difficult). Also, when things feel too difficult, there is a regrettable turning away to other tasks: like this one. (I also have a pan of soup simmering, which needs a regular tweak.)

The editor of the book (and I put it that way because ‘my editor’ sounds excessively proprietorial) is thorough and professional. Which means all my inadvertent and advertent vaguenesses get pointed out. At times my unreasonable response to a reasonable comment (such as ‘needs more detail’) is a howl of ‘But I don’t know any more’.

But, in the same way that wearing a brace will give you a lovely smile, working over an editor’s comments will produce a better book.

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