Friday, September 18, 2009

My mandate from Shepherd Press

My mandate from Shepherd Press on this project is essentially as follows. I am to:

1) involve the author and elicit input from him, to whatever extent and in whatever manner fits the circumstances, makes him happy, and serves the book;
2) and perform hands-on editing myself;
3) in order to produce a manuscript ready for a final copyedit and proofing prior to typeset.

I plan to do this by a combination of Directed Rewrite, Line Edit, and Substantive Edit work, all three of which I discuss in greater detail at my personal website. When I returned chapter 1 to Brian with suggestions, I was initiating a directed rewrite of that portion of the book.

Brian is looking forward to making the time to work on those suggestions. (He is, after all, a husband, father, and full-time pastor). In the meantime, I am making edits to subsequent chapters and hope to send him back two sample chapters of my edits within the next few days.

So for me, the work has now begun in earnest.
At this point in the project I feel like an explorer of a small new country—an explorer who possesses a rudimentary map, has taken a couple of quick flyovers to assess the general contours of the land, and has skimmed some casual essays from others who passed through the country sometime earlier. But now I am down in amongst the undergrowth. Sometimes I climb a ridge or scramble up a tree to get a higher perspective, but most of the time I am at ground level getting to know the country intimately.

It's an exciting time in some ways because I can really see the riches of the land. What the author has to offer—his passions and perspective, his depth of scholarship and personal experience—is there on the page, and my job is to try to make it into everything it can be while still (emphatically) remaining his.


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