Edity Edity Edit

This past week has been consumed by edits for the second book in my Shark Santoyo Crime Series – Shark’s Bite. There’s nothing like a keen eyed editor to make you realize how many times you use the word “shrug.” Or nod.  Or dear God, how many times will my characters smile.  So many times.  Is there another way to say “smile” without actually using the word “smile”?  I may go mad looking up “grin” in the thesaurus.

When I get a manuscript back from an editor I make multiple passes through to make the requested changes and to make any changes to answer questions or fix problems an editor may have pointed out. The first time I make it through the manuscript I think I’m so clever. Then I actually read it and I think, “uh, I wrote that?” The word repetition, the sameness of gestures! And what about scene setting? The third time through I think… “Not bad, except for that one part.  That needs work.”  Then by the fourth and fifth rounds I’m hunting for typos and hoping like hell I haven’t put any fresh ones in with my changes. Finally, when I think I’ll go blind staring at it and I can’t think of one more thing to change, then back to the editors it goes. Then it comes back and I agree to fix all the terrible typos I managed to miss in the previous five rounds of read-throughs and then, finally, finally, off to layout it goes.

And after all of that, it’s still a fairly sure bet that someone will still find a typo.  And that’s when I make this face:

Chapter by Chapter

I recently read a review on Goodreads of my book GlossedCause. 

I love this series from Bethany Maines! Such a funny and interesting read throughout and makes you want to keep reading! This series is definitely best read in order, short stories included! A few nitpicky things that I didnt like were titled Chapters that was a theme for the chapter. (I like a simple number or location & number) and I’d love another book where Carrie Mae played a bigger role.
The reviewer gave me a good number of stars and overall that’s a pretty dang good review.  So, thanks mystery reviewre!  But I find myself flummoxed by the comment on chapter numbers.  I just… I mean… Chapter numbers?
First of all she’s completely blowing my theory that no one reads my chapter titles.  The truth is—and this is a deep dark secret regarding the chapter titles in the Carrie Mae series—they’re really just for me.  I mean, I hope the rest of you who bother to
read them enjoy them too.  But really they’re a secret code while I’m writing that means I can glance at the table of contents and remember what’s going on in each chapter. Also, they’re usually song titles which means at the end of the book I have a pretty nifty playlist.  (Check out this one from Bulletproof Mascara chapter titles on the Carrie Mae YouTube channel.)
I’m not sure what lesson is to be learned from this, other than I should stop reading reviews, but I’m sure I’ve definitely learned it.  Maybe.  Or maybe next time I’ll do chapter titles with latitude and longitude and possibly three character names and a unicorn.  We’ll just have to wait and see.