Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From the Editing Trenches

For the past month I've been knee-deep in the editing trenches making revisions to my middle grade book coming out in August with MuseItUp Publishing, ANIMAL ANDY. This is the first time I've worked with an editor from a publisher, and it's been an invaluable experience.

I went into it knowing the process wasn't going to be easy, knowing I'd have to change things about the story, including things I liked, but I wanted to keep an open mind and was enthusiastic about it. I received the initial email from my editor and she was excited as well.

When the first round of comments came back, it was difficult to sort through all the red text! I took a deep breath, and approached it one page at a time. I sent back the revisions and was proud of myself. It didn't seem too bad. I asked my editor if we were going to go through a second round of edits. She said, no, we'll probably do about five rounds of edits. WHAT?!

After receiving her second set of comments, I understood why. The first round was more of a read-through, cleaning up language, etc. The second round dove much deeper, looking at specific parts of the story, character, etc. That's when the frustration set in. I happened to vent to a friend of mine who is a techincal editor, and she gave me a very good perspective on the situation. She pointed out that editors are not "your friend." They are there to make your product the best it can be. And she's right!

I took another deep breath, and the rest of my revisions for round two went much smoother. I looked at my editor's comments through her eyes and realized she is doing a great job--afterall, she's the expert! At the end of this process, I will have a  much better book and learned so much along the way that will help me as I write future books. And, I have a feeling I'll gain a friend in the end, too.

I'd love to hear about your experiences working with editors on the revisions process!

--KSR Writer

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