Is there anything worse than thinking you’re all spiffied up for the day – you got out of your gym workout clothes (this can sometimes be my biggest challenge of the day), showered, brushed the pearly whites – and you think you’re looking pretty darn fabulous. It’s not until the afternoon, after you’ve gone to meet a potential new author, made smoochie noises at the P.O. guy for not getting mad when someone dumped a chocolate bar in their submission and attracted ants, that you realize you had toilet paper trailing out your jeans.
All. Day. Long.
And that’s the way I feel about getting a full manuscript with the Track Changes feature still locked and loaded. I can see every little note, edit, and comment that you have made. I received one such manuscript last month where a comment said, “Don’t worry about this, no editor is smart enough to catch this.”
It was an obvious exchange between the author and his beta reader. And yes, it made me feel like a Peeping Jane – slightly dirty. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. What else had they said, I wondered?
Some of the passages that had been edited out were actually pretty darn good. What to do? Leave my own comment? “Hey, the oozy-brained, dumbass editor likes this part. Consider leaving it in.”
Probably not a a good idea.
So the long and short of it is this: Turn off your Track Changes feature. No one wanted to see my trail of Charmin. And that’s what Track Changes is; showing your Victoria Secrets.
Don’t be in a rush to send anything off – to your agent (because they might not catch it either), or to an editor. You want to present yourself in the best way possible, and that won’t happen if I see that you’re wearing a pink bra or heart-covered BVDs.
The only result will be that the beagle and I will screech, “EYE BLEACH! Unsee! Unsee! Run away!”