Finished rewriting Paying Melpomene’s Price last night (September 8). The goal was to complete the rewrite in one year. The process started August 3, 2015. So a year and a month. Compared to my usual estimates, that’s not bad!
It’s been a long journey. The initial write (2007-2015) was done part time while working full time. It was really a ‘proof of concept’: it was only readable by me (and even that was hard). The rewrite made it readable to others. Think of writing a book in terms of building a new condo building. Cranes and scaffolding are necessary when the tower is getting built. But they don’t help the people who will eventually move in. In fact, the residents won’t want to see artifacts from construction. The rewrite removes the cranes and the scaffolding.
The chapters have gone out to beta-readers the last year. They’ve provided helpful feedback. Now the next step: find a structural editor. As the name implies, the structural editor works with the whole structure. The structural editor is not a proofreader or a copy editor. They come after.
Placed a job posting with the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island for a structural editor a few moments ago. Here’s how it reads:
Are you a structural editor looking to edit a non-fiction, academic title on the theory of tragic theatre? If so, this posting is for you!
Preface and eight chapters, approximately 48,000 words. Target audience: dramatists, literary critics, academics (literature, theatre studies, and aesthetics), and non-specialists interested in the philosophy of tragedy. The work is similar in scope to ‘Tragedy and Philosophy’ by Kaufmann, ‘Tragedy & The Paradox of the Fortunate Fall’ by Weisinger, or ‘Tragedy Myth & Mystery’ by Hathorn.
The edit might appeal to you if you enjoy the works of writers such as Sophocles, Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Corneille, Ibsen, and O’Neill. If you enjoy gambling (or the idea of gambling) the edit might appeal to you as well: the thesis is that each dramatic act in tragedy is also a gambling act.
While the idea of the philosophy of tragedy might sound complex, it really shouldn’t be. It should be simple enough for a kid in grade four to understand. I’m looking for a structural editor who can help out with that.
Fingers crossed, I have a feeling the quality of the finished book is going to depend a lot on the structural editor. I’ve taken it as far as I can myself, now is time to get some help.