Let me start by saying that perfectionism is a curse that rots your brain and hacks away your self-confidence until you’re nothing but a quivering pile of dogshit. I am author, hear me whimper.
To make a long story short(ish), I got the second round of edits on Black Wolf about a month ago, and the editor had been pretty gentle with the manuscript—a comment here, a suggestion there, commas added, commas deleted, and so on. This is sort of nice but also completely terrifying. On one hand, it implies that the publisher trusts my vision and doesn’t want to mangle my writing style; on the other hand, it makes me just that much more paranoid that I (and everyone else who’s read the bloody thing) have missed something critical that will cause the book to explode on impact with readers.
After the first round of editing, I went back through the story in detail to hack out weasel words and unnecessary/repetitive content, clarify descriptions, yadda yadda. By the end of that review, Black Wolf had been trimmed from 242,231 words to “only” 238,025. I’m currently just over a quarter of the way through the second review, and I’ve already cut out another 2,200 words. Bloody fucking hell. Why did I not see all these little problems in the first place? How much am I still missing? Even though I know this is par for the course, it still feels like shit.
But there’s no time to cry. The devil’s hiding in the details, and I’m busy exorcising his sorry ass right out of my book. Get behind me, fuckwad—this manuscript is plowing ahead without you.