In the middle of all my proofing of the PDF and agonizing over every little thing...
The ARCs sail in.
The ARC (otherwise known as the Advance Readers Copy) is a yellow-and-black trade-paperback-sized physical version of the PDF. Although the words are exactly the same in both the PDF and the ARC, it is the ARC that suddenly bumps that story into the physical world and makes the book "feel real."
I have been out of the fiction-writing game quite a while (no secret there), so I'm happy to see that physical ARCs still exist. One can obtain electronic ARCs of various upcoming books from Poisoned Pen Press and other publishers on NetGalley, for instance, but for me, there's nothing like holding the object itself—paper, ink, and glue—in my hands.
|WHAT GOLD BUYS, on screen and paper.|
I also obsess over each m-dash (yeah—those) and elipsis (yeah...those). I swear I removed hundreds of them in the draft. Perhaps, as a result, I am oversensitized to their appearance, because every time one crops up in the PDF it feels like I'm being jabbed with an electric cattle prod.
I had a couple of other folks also read the PDF for hiccups, which helps. And I also recognize that there will be another set of eyes at Poisoned Pen Press scrutinizing the text. Right now, it feels like I'm wandering in the forest, pruning the twigs on trees, so I probably need to pull up and back a bit, and breath deep.
When all is said and done, what is important is not so much the errant, extra "the" here and there (although honestly, those things drive me crazy). What's important is whether the writing and the story "work" for the reader and are successful in pulling the reader into the world I have created. If I have done that, I can count my efforts as successful as I set sail for the next Silver Rush adventure.
|A little something extra in that coffee, m'dear??|
Sign up here for my as-yet-to-be-produced newsletter, and you'll have your chance.
At the end of April, I will hold a drawing and give away a couple of ARCs to those on my newsletter mailing list.
I promise to keep newsletters occasional and brief, and to offer random tempting giveaways. Come join the party, and I'll put another leaf in the table! (Virtual) tea and coffee are provided. Those who like a "little something extra" (a la Inez) are more than welcome. :-)