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MayNoWriMo #6: Editing Round Two

How many rounds of editing do you generally go through before the editor decides your book is ready to be shipped off to the proofreader? Two, three? More?

As you may or may not know (and I hope you do know), my debut novel will be released by InkSpell Publishing in October of this year. We’re currently in the middle of editing. It went like this:

  1. I fixed all typos I could find, and formatted the document.
  2. My formatting was completely wrong, so my editor and I had a good laugh about it, she fixed the formatting and got to work.
  3. She sent me back the first round of edits at lightning speed.
  4. I heard a lot of authors saying that they tend to cry/turn into homicidal maniacs / think about jumping off a cliff once seeing their edits, but I was genuinely surprised that I did neither of those. I was actually very glad with the edits. My editor, Melissa Keir, who rocks by the way, managed to tackle a lot of my spelling and grammar issues, and some other developmental issues.
  5. I made the edits, approved almost all changes she made, complained about a few and got the manuscript back to her.
  6. Now she’s send me the manuscript again, ready for a second round of edits. I had expected this, of course. What I hadn’t expected was that the edits would be more thorough than the first time around.

For some reason I thought that the first round of edits was the “harsh” one, the one where they rip your manuscript to pieces, feed it to the sharks and then ressurect it from the deepest pits of the underworld. So when I got it back and the changes weren’t as life-threatening as I suspected, I was relieved. Ah, but my relief was short-lived. Turns out that these edits are about four times as brutal as the previous ones. Go figure.

But, strange as it may seem, I’m actually glad for the edits. They’re here to make my book better. And I can take some criticism – I’d be a lousy author if I couldn’t.

I’ve been too busy with these, and with work for university to spend any time on my manuscripts at all. It sucks, but unfortunately there are only twenty-four hours in a day. At least all my favorite TV series are over now, except Game of Thrones. I tend to watch one series a day (from monday to sunday: Gossip Girl, Glee, The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, The Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones) and although that’s only about an hour a day, that’s roughly eight hours a week. Wow. So that’s eight hours I can now instead focus on writing (yeh, right).

What do you hate about edits? What do you like about them? How many rounds of edits do you usually go through before your book is ‘finished’?

2 thoughts on “MayNoWriMo #6: Editing Round Two

    • Author gravatar

      Editing is one of my favorite parts of the writing process, but that’s with the disclaimer that most of my edits are self-imposed. I’ve not yet had the experience of working with an editor on a novel (though I hope to, one day), so I’m not sure how the experience will be.

      My published work has all been short stories, and it’s less common to have an editor request any major changes at short fiction markets. The field of competition at the better markets is such that most stories tend to be ready for publication upon acceptance.

      Thanks for the interesting glimpse into your editing process!

    • Author gravatar

      My edits for Touch of Death were like this, too. The second round of edits is the “picky” edit as my editor said. You have to be picky about everything in that round. The first time through is for overall content and simple grammar/punctuation things. The second time is the we-need-to-get-this-perfect round.

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