The final edit of a novel is quite painful mainly because you're working on a manuscript which you thought was already finished when you sent it to your editor. You know it's not finished because your eagle-eyed editor will find errors and inconsistencies, but you think it's finished. You've been through 3 or 4 drafts, incorporated or rejected (ie wrestled with) the feedback from your beta readers. You're pretty happy with it, even knowing that for sure it isn't perfect and it is highly likely that you missed some things.
Then the editor and you have some differences of opinion about grammar usage and the effectiveness of some of your metaphors. They might be the first objective reader to say "that doesn't make sense" or "I don't understand that". They might object to the use of certain words and certain non standard syntax and you might feel you're dealing with someone who doesn't understand your work. Perhaps one who doesn't appreciate it.
Armed with an editor's cut, you first of all go through their proposed changes and necessary corrections. Next you read the whole manuscript out loud in as few sittings as possible. (I found this stage really hard, but it is an absolutely vital step.) You try not to feel dismayed as you uncover more errors, like missing words for example, than the editor did. You feel the flow of the narrative, and wince when said flow is interrupted by a clunky construction or an overly verbose metaphor.
Finally, it is finished...ah no. The final proof will be in your inbox before too long and then you'll have to read it again unless you trust the editor and publisher completely. Are you brave enough to do that when previous books went to press with errors, and not just a few of them?
That's where I'm at with Love Sick Love, my fifth novel which is scheduled for release in November from Rogue Phoenix Press It's a great read by the way, so I'll hope you'll buy it, read it and recommend it to everyone you know.
What projects have you thought were finished only to discover they were not? How did you respond?