I’m pretty sure my editor doesn’t think I have a process.
(She might be right. Love you, Liv!)
So…here’s what usually happens for me throughout editing.
- It starts while I’m writing. I generally send each finished chapter to two of my betas. I find it helps me with keeping tracking of things, though that’s not always successful either.
- Finish the book! (Yay! Collapse in a heap. Throw confetti. Have a nap.)
- Do a round of edits.
- Send to my last beta who works magic for me.
- Do another round of edits.
- Do a third round with Grammarly.
- Submit my book to my publisher after whining endlessly about writing a synopsis.
- Multiple rounds of edits with my editor and publisher.
- So many rounds.
- All the edits.
An essential ingredient to any relationship, romantic or otherwise, is trust. Authors must have confidence in two critical people–their editor and their publisher. The publishing experience can be a complete nightmare if no bond has formed between them.
As someone who started life as an indie author, I find myself in the odd position of having morphed into a bit of a hybrid author. No traditional agent and publisher, yet I do work with a brilliant publishing company, Hot Tree Publishing. They’ve in turn connected me with an equally brilliant editor.
In my experience, we, of the creative mind, can occasionally be fragile and a mite temperamental when discussing our paper children. We nurture our stories–having them judged on any level can be hard. It’s a necessary part of the process, having the right editor and publisher are akin to choosing the right surgeon. They help to pick apart the pieces of your heart before carefully putting it all back together again.
No matter how much editing frustrates me. No matter how much I curse at my manuscript and the comments attached to it. I know my novel will look better on the other side of it, so I slog through, trusting the insights given to me.
And they have yet to steer me wrong.
I am in the hell of editing. I know some authors enjoy the process. I am not one of them. So here are five things about editing:
- We hates it.
- Also, we hates it.
- Commas are an abomination from hell.
- ‘Delete’ in no way is a plausible auto-correct for the word ‘joy.’ I am still trying to determine how that particular mistake happened. What on earth did I originally type in that delete became the alternative? Or what was I thinking that I wrote delete instead of joy? So confused.
- There is not enough chocolate in the world to bribe me into enjoying editing.
The moral of the story? Editing is necessary, but a massive pain in the arse.
I do love my editor though. Hot Tree Editing is brilliant. Me? While editing, not so much. I’m brilliant while writing–occasionally.
See, see what I did there?
I realize how necessary you are to making sense of the lengthy sentences and paragraphs we authors are prone to using. I understand the impact you can make on a simple statement, shifting the meaning from one thing to another.
I acknowledge the necessity of your existence.
But could you, for the love of all things holy, stop being such a bloody bastard while I’m editing?
Have mercy on me and my obvious lack of ability to use you correctly.
An author clearly driven to utter distraction.
I love you.
However, my editor informs me you are just a filler word.
Shhh, don’t say anything. It isn’t you, its me.
I promise you won’t feel a thing when I delete you from my manuscript.
A Frazzled Author
I try, as a rule, not to edit while I’m writing. I found myself a little stuck on the last few chapters of Natasha so I decided to do a mini-revision while I worked out the problem. The first thing I tend to do when I’m editing a rough draft is search for my uses of the words ‘that’ and ‘just.’ Both words I often overuse while writing. They slip in the nasty little buggers. I found close to a hundred uses of the word ‘that.’ I managed to delete over seventy of them.
It’s the one thing I know my betas and editor will ding me for consistently.
Those are the easy deletes.
The harder ones are moments in a story you love, but find don’t fit with everything else. It feels like you’re cutting out part of your heart. There were several of those moments in Ivy, less in Natasha. I was more focused when I wrote Natasha. =)
What do you find the hardest part of editing?