Saturday, March 24, 2007


8 pm and 77 degrees.
Mr. FedEx knows me by sight now. An overnighted (read two day) envelope from New York to Hawaii contained a tax paper from Italy.
In Italian.
This is one of those instances I document as ammunition for the times I participate in a fruitless argument about whether a writer needs an agent or not.
Trust me. You do.
I just signed where it was highlighted.
I do what I'm told.
As I went up to the harbor office to FedEx it back I met Mr. FedEx once more.
Another package.
Gee, I'm popular.
It was heavy. A manuscript. I was expecting it.
What are they? You ask.
I will tell you.
After the copyedit corrections are made the manuscript goes to the type setter. It is very interesting because to make the pages fit a certain may some of the words and letters are closer together than others. They also design the pages. The font is selected. Fancy doodads are put under the chapter numbers. First pass pages look exactly as the book will look if you cut it out from the hatch marks.
It is beauteous.
My job is to carefully look for boo boos.
This is not the time to rewrite entire chapters.
It is the time to look for misspelled words, punctuation errors,and horror of horrors-- what I call:
Like I just noticed a minor character started out in a house and suddenly is in a car.
I don't know how she got there.
Those things.
So I am taking a short break from my efforts.
And hoping to hear some cheer and amusing support from my comment gallery.
My ARCs (Advanced Reader Copys) are due April 10.
My reservations are made!
April 8 - 12.
Meetings with publishers, publicists and agent.
I will keep you all posted.
And the first pass pages?
I have to send them back in four days.
So I leave you...
In search of the elusive...the rare and sought after...


Anonymous said...

Your excitement is contagious! So you're looking for continuity - like in a movie when in the scene Brad Pitt is eating a burger, the camera pans away, then goes back and he's suddenly eating a hot dog. So you can STILL catch those things at this point? Hmmm. I thought the gallies would have been your last shot. Laughing at the Italian contract. Hope we can meet in NYC - enjoy all of this first time excitement and document the heck out of it so you can always remember how this felt.


Holly Kennedy said...

First pass pages! I equally loved and hated going through mine, noticing all of the writing I liked and certain passages I was embarassed by. But then you realize it's tiime to let go and move on to the next one. Such fun! Have a good time in New York...

ORION said...

Yes K- It really is spelling/missing words/typos but if you do find something glaring that needs to be addressed you can do it.
I have only found eight things to fix in the entire manuscript -- which to me is amazing.
And only the single one "STUPID THING"

LadyBronco said...

Isn't it funny, that after looking over your MS with a fine tooth comb, a microscope, and several sets of fresh eyes, that something like the minor character issue you mentioned was missed?

I am editing my 1st draft, and I am finding boo-boos like that all over the place.

Maprilynne said...

You know, you make it sound easy, Pat, (just look for the small mistakes) but things like first pass pages are really, really difficult (as I KNOW you are discovering) because you have to find all the stuff in your novel that your mind fills in the blanks on. The house to car was a perfect example. YOU know how they got there and if you're not careful, your mind will fill in the blank and you will miss the mistake altogether.

Cheers for Pat! You can do it! It is a long a tedious task. Anyone who says everything about writing is fun has never actually been published.:) My friend Steohenie says that an author must love the process of writing the initial book because that's all that carried you through production. And you have had to go so fast because you go fast-tracked. No matter what you may think, *I** think you're a trooper!!!


Kimber An said...

Just when you think it's safe to burn your red pen in effigy...

Kanani said...

Wow, that's wonderful!

ORION said...

Not a RED pen kim- the copyeditors get the red pencils- I have to use green pencils!
(that's so they know it's me!)

Demon Hunter said...

Great stuff, Pat. You found minimal errors. Kudos to you! I don't know if you remember or not, but I said that one of my betas found that I had killed a character in one chapter, then had him eating dinner the next. LOL. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing the information with us. Have a great time in New Yawk!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun.


I'm not being sarcastic.

M. G. Tarquini said...

You forgot the most exciting part. After you get back from NY, you get to me!!!!!

M. G. Tarquini said...

Sorry...maybe you will get to me. But what I meant was:

After you get back from NY, you get to MEET me!!!!!