The Land of Line Edits

Paul and I finished up another line editing session this morning around 2:30am. Given I’ve had little sleep across the last two nights and devoted about 20 hours to line editing, continuity fixes and some retro-narrative fitting, you’d think my head would hit the pillow and I’d be off.

But no!

Lying there with a foot in the land of sleep and tossing-and-turning wishing I was asleep,  I fell into one of those weird semi-lucid dream states. Here, I started to pack a suitcase, with three days clothes, to take with me to ‘line edits’… as if line editing was a discrete, geographical location I could travel too. Perhaps it would have cocktails, a sunny beach… no, hold on. It’s work destintion… gratefully one with plenty of laughs, good gossip on old friends and point scoring with punctuation (yes, and you thought punctuation was boring!) None the less, a place of work.

While I was sharing my weird dream-ish notion with Annie today, it occured to me that ‘line edits’ as a location does sort of work. Why? It works as a place to transit through, on the way out of the airport. It feels  like I’ve stuck in for the past nine months, as The Yin and Yang Books have been written, in an unnamed European airport. Not to mention I have been stuck there with people I would, for the most part, not choose as travelling companions.

Line edits could possibly be a purgatory type place, so I’m keen to move on through quicky. Already twenty hours feels long enough. I feel a little like Medae right now (as she was in the first draft), wanting to move quickly through the transition and away with the painting. OUt of where she had been and over into the next phase of her life. Hopefully I’m more successful than her though.

If I listen to my semi-conscious thoughts, there are three more days to go. And no, it seems I didn’t pack my party dress to celebrate at the end.

Line edit highlights from last night:

  • Realising in a parallel airport, there is no Rex to distract Mother. Does she then see  Claude leaving the toilet ahead of Calvinsweetheart then? And what are they actually arguing about when Mildred approaches them in “The Other Side of Limbo” as a consequence?
  • Jasmine’s story “Cobalt Blue” was sub-titled “Gosh You’ve Got Pretty Eyes”… a joke which still got mileage at 2:30am.
  • Realising Sam Harris, Jasmine’s main character had a shot at being the hero in the story, but was too lazy to take up the opportunity because it would have meant extra work. In chosing a different path,  Leon would have stayed out of jail (well perhaps not), Bullwick would not have been shot and Sam… well, no spoilers! Then again, maybe Bull would have been shot? This is the joys of this multi-layered anthology.

If you’re on twitter… follow the hashtag #yandy or @ChineseWhispAnth, @jodicleghorn or @panderson1979 for funny twitter interludes. This is what happens when two people separated by a nine hour time zone get together to finalise a manuscript.

Image via TWTFD

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