In the can or not?

I started bragging on Facebook last week that I had four chapters in the proverbial can. And this week I have three more.

Then I got to thinking what that really means. Does that mean that I’m done, done with them, that I’ll never touch them again? Absolutely not.

As soon as I posted the first four on my storyboard wall I noticed things – just little things – I needed to change. So, I took my red pen and marked them up on the wall copy. Then, I found a bigger thing and marked that up too.

And last night while I was watching television – we’re watching Season One of “Mad Men” – I started jotting things down on my iPhone note pad. There is no stopping me. My brain is always thinking about this book. Perhaps that’s why writer’s start their next book. They need to get over the last.

So I have to admit, I’m not done with these chapters yet. I’ve finished incorporating my editor’s changes, but I know I need to go through them a time or two again before I ship the whole manuscript to my publisher.

And, as my husband and I were saying last night, that doesn’t even mean the end of it. She will do an edit and lay the book out on galleys and then send it back to me for review. I’ll then look again, make some mark-ups, and send the marked up galleys back to her. Once she’s made the corrections we agree on, she’ll make review copies and many people will have a say about what’s in the book. Could that mean more changes? Probably. It seems like a never-ending process. (Did I read that Henry James was still editing his books after they were published?)

In the can is a murky term. Right now it means almost done – not quite fully cooked.

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