Counting the Words

A little over a week ago, I was asked to complete an editing assignment of full edit on a 160,000 manuscript.  This would be the single biggest project I have taken on to date and I knew the story was based in Africa, a continent I don’t know much about, so depending on the facts stated in the book, it might take a fair bit of research.  So, scary prospect.

Made scarier by the fact that it was wanted in a two week turn around.  So not only the biggest project I’ve been assigned, also the fasted turn around.  Since the author is paying for a two week turn around, that means I have a maximum of 13 days to do the work and get it back to editing company so they can approve what I’ve written before sending it out to the author, and the writing of a critique document will always take a full ‘day’.  So that calculates as 12 days to edit 160,000, or 13,000 words a day  – Eek!

That said, here’s what happened.  

Wednesday – Manuscript received, I got through maybe 8,000 words, 
Thursday – I went to my writers circle Prose Group, so nothing achieved.  
Friday – crappy day in the office, struggled to get 12,000 words done.  
Saturday – my husband was on Day shift (12 hours) and my daughter is a teenager so doesn’t surface until the afternoon and then she’s perfectly capable of looking after herself, so she did.  That meant that I could shut myself away in the study and just get on with the edit – 60,000 words , woo hoo!  
Sunday – was a repeat of Saturday, but managed to get through over 70,000 words.  All of which left only 6,000 words for 
Monday – did the last 6,000 words  
Tuesday – other stuff on the go
Wednesday –  only one week after receiving the full manuscript – I did the majority of the critique document,
Thursday – polished the critique document and sent to the boss

Phew!

All done and dusted in time to go away from a long weekend to see our son in university on the other side of the country.  Nice to be able to go knowing that I won’t feel torn between family and work.

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