Editing your novel: A baseball metaphor


Editing a novel is like baseball. It’s a long season. It’s never perfect. And theoretically, like an extra inning game where no one ever scores, it could go on forever. I’m in deep right now, but I’m not even to the All-Star Break. I know the first 1/3 of my book needs the most work (based on the opinion of me and one other person.) That illusion may be shattered as I get more feedback from other beta-readers (one of whom keeps taking island vacations.)

I’m on my second sweep of my book. Let’s call the first sweep Spring Training (if you’re okay with me beating this metaphor into the ground.) After round two I’ll be bringing in my hired help: a woman who will make me question my ability for form complete sentences, much less put together 80,000 words. I’ll fold into the fetal position like Bill Buckner after Game 6 and just cry.


Give the guy a break. He was playing on two sprained ankles.

Wait. There’s no crying in baseball!

My editor will coax me into an upright position with a refreshing local IPA and we’ll begin to analyze my book with a depth usually reserved for Steinbeck or Faulkner. I guess that makes her my “closer.” My Goose Gossage. My baseball references are showing my age. Fortunately, my conversation about editing in this week’s Creative Loafing is void of bad baseball references. Check it out HERE.


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