The Edits Are Done

MP900341501And if my high school self had watched me work on them, she'd have been like "who are you?" But with book edits, every time you turn them in could be your last chance to make changes. Or impress your editor or the sales and marketing team, or to get the cover you love or the print run or promotion that will give it a shot. You never know who's going to read the manuscript at what stage and what impact that will have on your book's future (and your future selling more books) so its kind of worth it to pretend each time you turn it in will be the last time you see it. Because it might be.

My editorial letter was pretty short this time. A page and a half. Two main plot fixes, both to the story's resolution. I thought for a few days, wrote scenes to fix one of them. Wrote in some backstory to match. Printed and re-read the whole manuscript. Realized the first fifteen chapters were pretty rough (how did they get through like that?). Cleaned them up. Figured out how to fix the other plot problem. Re-wrote that part of the ending. Added backstory. Read the whole manuscript again, out loud (because you catch different things that way). Realized the way I'd re-written the first plot problem wasn't really working. Re-wrote it and the backstory again. Re-read all those sections another time. Spellchecked. Pulled out my list of overused words (caught on the read-aloud) and did a find/replace to fix them. Re-read my editorial letter, sifted through all my notes and ideas on scraps of paper to make sure I'd gotten to everything. Took a deep breath and hit SEND.

Usually, you prepare for the looooong wait until your editor gets a chance to read, try not to worry about whether you've done it right or will have to go back and re-do everything. Usually, you start a new project or re-organize your office so you won't be tempted to check email every fifteen minutes to see if there's any feedback. Usually.

Less than twenty-four hours after turning these in, I got an email from my editor. Short, but oh so sweet: "just finished - LOVE IT!!"