I Changed a Comma to a Semicolon

There are days I hate editing (most of the ones that end in d-a-y). Don’t get me wrong. It is definitely much easier with the advent of computers, especially since I can have multiple versions going in case an editing session turns into a rewrite, erase, rewrite again session. An occurrence I have experienced on more than one occasion.

Edits, when I first started writing a number of decades ago, were even more tedious, not to mention impossible to decipher. My handwriting was too small and difficult to read on a good day and as illegible as a doctor’s scrawling pen scratches on a prescription on a bad day. My typing was worse, so I was relegated to a handwritten version of a story on notebook paper. Edits were made by drawing an arrow from the insertion point to the margin on the notepaper, and then in even smaller text, adding new material or notes to delete portions of the old.

It was not unusual to see an addition or a change start in the margin, run out of room, and conclude with “See balance at page 127” or whatever page happened to be next in my hand-numbered list of pages. As the story progressed, sometimes those "brilliant" additions would end up in a hand-marked version of the html command <del> or <s> or <strike> as they used to be labeled, scratched out, lined through, flagged with an uppercase NO.

Editing is hard work. It involves being able to keep the entire piece in mind and yet scrutinize each individual character, each word for typos, for proper use. Each sentence has to mesh with the ones before and everything that comes after. Punctuation needs to be correct in order to properly convey meaning, context and at least the semblance of being able to present coherent thoughts.

Because editing is hard work, there are days that seem interminable and progress is limited to a change as mentioned in the title of this post. And yet, there are days when that much progress is cause for celebration. Because it was the right change. Because it strengthens the story.

The 19 stories in Inn Situ, Volume I are currently in that phase of making things right. At least for as far as my old eyes can see. As for the stories in Volume II, there are currently four that are started and we’re targeting something that will get us close to the same number of pages as in Volume I.

These stories were a blast to write, and Scott and I have enjoyed it immensely. More to come

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