I spent over six hours of a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon yesterday editing my manuscript. The fact-checking was fine. The tidying up of clunky dialogue and confusing “he said, she saids”, also fine.
Reading through the whole 110,000 thousand words twice in one day to fix errant quotation marks? Not fun at all. The first time was okay, but after finishing with a sigh of relief only to find that said marks were backward, I was ready to scream.
I gritted my teeth and dove back into the word document determined to come out on top. I think I did it. Eventually, skimming through paragraphs looking for stray marks does become easier. Not any less tedious, just easier.
My apologies to my publisher if I missed any.
I did manage to pick up a few he’s that should have been she’s (yes, one or two of my characters underwent gender-reclassification somewhere between draft one and draft four?. I also found a couple of characters finishing off each others’ sentences (woops) and sorted out one or two culturally-different spellings. My novel is set in the USA. I’m firmly set in Australia. Even the quotation marks are different! Hence my need to change them all.
It’s done now though and, hopefully, has saved my publisher some time.
To save myself time in the future, I’ve set my next novel in Australia where I know how to spell and punctuate without having to waste sunshine!