Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scraping Toward a Better Book

By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine

Shelby Farms Patriot Lake in Memphis is undergoing a huge transformation. Let's call it a major edit with a capital "E." I have written many blog posts sitting by the lake. It's peaceful although, it sits in the middle of the suburbs of Memphis, TN. The wind-driven waves on the lake mimic beach waves without the noise of the ocean. The geese would play in the water teaching the young ones how to, catch dinner. 

That was then. This is now. 

Today it's hard to write by the lake they are building because it's a bevy of activity. Distractions abound. The lake and roads have been totally redesigned to accommodate more activities. It appears two small islands that were in the previous lake's footprint have been removed. I am disappointed about the redesign eliminating the islands. I feel the geese used those islands as a refuge in stormy nights. 

Change in our lives can be scary just by the shear fact it's not the norm. I think because changing of our manuscript occurs in the edit process that we, as authors have trouble with edits. We liked our book the way it was sent into the publisher. Then, the notes come back from your editor, and the edit process begins. 

Watching the transformations occur at Patriot Lake today, reminded me of what we do when we create a book. I watch a giant scraper scoop up dirt out of the empty lake bed and dump it into dump truck (Internet to publisher) and haul to an unknown location (publisher). After much of this activity, the scraper (author) created its own island of dirt it sits on. It reminds me how as an author it's easy to become isolated in the book writing business like this scraper. A lot of other people are involved in your book's success. I watch a second scraper (editor) come to the first scraper's (author) dirt island and begin filling in dirt (edits) so that the author-scraper didn't fall off its island. 

Like Patriot Lake's improvements, your book after edits will be a better book written by you. 

Just remember, it takes a lot of equipment to get your book published. 

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