One thing I left off my list of ‘things what need done’ is the page proof edit of Dying Light. I got the huge wadge of paper yesterday from a very soggy mailman called ‘Colin’ and I’ve spent most of the day on the study couch, or floor, working my way through every single last word.
This is it – last chance to save the day if anything is screwed up. Which is why I always find page proof editing to be my least favourite bit of the publishing lifecycle. With earlier edits you can pretty much please yourself: don’t like a sentence? Change it! Whhhhhooooooosh! Paragraph in the wrong place? Cut and paste like an NINJA! Hieeeeee-ya! Easy as stuffing your face with white chocolate Rice Krispies squares with cherries in them. Which I’m also doing at the moment. But when it gets to page proof time, there’s no room for fiddling. This is the book as it’s come back from the typesetter. Next step from here is someone shouting, "Roll them printing presses!"
Screwing about with the text at this late stage in the game costs money, so you have to be pretty damn sure that three word change is worth it. Which is where my problem kicks in. Perfectionism means never having to say you’re finished. And that way leads only to madness and chafing.
I want to change things, but I must deny my addiction. Bad Stuart! Naughty! No more Chocolate Crispies for you!*
* I’ve always thought you could make really kick arse Chocolate Crispies with white chocolate and Special K Red Berries. Mmm, crispies...