The Forest and the Trees

1/15/10

When you start writing a novel, it can be difficult to see the trees for the forest.  You need to concentrate on the big picture:  the characters, plot and overall theme.  The details will come into focus on the second, third or fourth draft.  At least, this is how it works for me.

After the book has been sold to a publisher, the focus becomes even sharper.  As the novel progresses from general editing to line editing to copy editing to galley proofs, every last sentence, word and punctuation mark is scrutinized for accuracy and consistency.  You see nothing but “trees”–and you kick yourself for not noticing them sooner.  How could I, after a dozen intensive drafts, have missed that typo or misspelled that character’s name?

So I am grateful to have just completed my share of the copy editing for The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare and extend my thanks to all those at New American Library involved in this stage of the process.

I hope readers will find each individual tree is as good as I could make it and the forest an enchanting place in which to spend their time.