Orbus Edit.

Okay, I’m now about halfway through the Peter Lavery edited typescript of Orbus. Though this is a thoroughly necessary part of the process, it is also a chore. Yeah, you guys haven’t read it yet so will hopefully enjoy the process. I, however, have read this in part and total and even backwards more times than I care to count. It’s engraved on the inside of my skull and actually trying to detect errors now requires an effort of will – I must read what’s written in front of me rather than the engraving.

Another problem – something to do with posture – is that after a few hours of this editing I end up with my neck stiff and burning. It was worse when I used to refer to sheets stacked beside me, improved when I affixed them to a piece of card positioned below my screen, but is still a pain.

But I can of course understand how many reading this will wonder, “What the hell has he got to complain about?” Yeah, I don’t have to get up to drive to work, clock in, avoid colleagues with BO or have to put up with a boss with the brains of a worm and personality to match. The dirtiest I get is when refilling printer cartridges and, as yet I am in no danger of losing my job … or my house. Really, I’m just trying to give readers a look at some of what’s involved in putting that book in front of them.

Once I’ve finished this particular batch of editing and return it to Macmillan, I later get it back from the copy editor, and must check through it again. It then comes back a third time for me to check the finished product. Still, doubtless, there will be mistakes for which I can only apologise, and put down to having been pushed beyond my boredom threshold. The glamorous life a writer, eh?

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