The Truth About Edits

Official edits are hard. I’m going to tell you this and you won’t believe me. I know you won’t because I didn’t believe the other authors who said it before me. But it’s true. You think that when you spend two years going through seven official drafts of something with your critique partners and beta readers that it will really be shiny to your editor when the time comes. You think to yourself, “This will be great. I’ll have a few minor rewrites, but most edits will be word choice or adverbs or something else I can fix quickly.” You think to yourself, “I’ve got this.”

But you don’t.

Because that’s an editor’s job. To find all the things that nobody else noticed. Or maybe they did notice something felt wrong, but they couldn’t put their finger on it well enough to tell you. At first you might think, “Well, if all those other people didn’t notice, what does it matter?”

But it does.

Because once you start fixing the things your editor points out, even you who’ve read it a million times will notice how much better it flows. Your characters become 3D and your landscape glows and your words shine. All is great and bright and beautiful with the world.

But the getting there sucks.

Every time your editor points out something inconsistent or something you missed, it’s like a slap in the face. Because you think you’re ready. You think it’s perfect. You suspect that the massive blood-red comments on your 300-page Word file are filled with “That’s so cool,” and “I really love what you did here!” And those things do happen. But more often than not they read, “You spend far more time describing your minor characters than your main characters.” Or sometimes, “Your villain is more sympathetic than your hero. Revise!”

I spent four hours today on two chapters. TWO. And those were all “easy fixes.” I’m saving up the hard ones for when I have a bigger tub of ice cream to cry into.

So this is just a little note that I am here but I’m slogging away in editorial hell. My deadline is the end of April, which seems like plenty of time until you take into account I work two jobs. I’ll manage, though. I have a mock cover to cheer me up when I get down (the real cover won’t be released until later this summer) and fans on my Facebook page to encourage me. You probably won’t hear from me again until I send Draft #8 back to my editor, so keep your fingers crossed~!