Keep calm and edit

I’ve been working on the second phase of editing with my agent. After doing a structural edit, she sent me line edit notes which are page specific and cover areas to tweak and areas that work well. I was pretty nervous waiting for her notes in case I got the first edit completely wrong!

I think I’m still in the learning stage of how to edit – learning what works for and what doesn’t for me. For the structural edit, I printed my book out and used Post-it notes, highlighters and hand written notes to make the changes needed. This time, I’m working through on my laptop making changes from start to finish although I jumped ahead a few times when inspiration struck.

What I’m enjoying about editing is that I haven’t been asked to make any changes that I don’t feel make the story better. It’s like I’m editing the story to become what I always wanted it to be. It really feels like it’s coming together and taking shape, becoming dare I say it a real novel. This is both exciting and terrifying as I’m getting closer to sending it out to publishers and we all know what a nervous wreck I’ll be when that time comes πŸ™‚

When I read my edit notes, I under why I didn’t spot the things that need improving for myself, they make so much sense they seem obvious but I console myself with the thought that every writer has an editor and it’s hard to really see your writing clearly yourself. Hopefully as I write and edit more, I’ll be able to do more of it for myself but for now, I’m just grateful I have my agent there to help me make this book the best it can be.


What are your editing processes?



16 thoughts on “Keep calm and edit”

  1. I read Lisa’s post about how finishing her draft felt like such a triumph but also pretty scary! We grow to guard and love the words we’ve worked so hard on so it’s natural to feel that little panic when you’re about to send them out to the world. As far as editing? Someting I will have to get the hang of!

  2. You have a wonderful editor. That is a ginormous help to any author. Yes, the putting it out there is like sitting on pins and needles, but when someone offers you publication, there is no other joy like it. Fingers crossed. It’s coming. 2013 is going to be glorious.

  3. My editing process, so far, has gone something like this (but you have to remember that this manuscript was part of a class, so one of the assignments involved editing): Write a chapter, write the next chapter, get stuck, go back and edit what you’ve done before until you get unstuck. Repeat. Now that I’m finished with the manuscript, I spent the weekend reading the whole thing slowly, and marking it with post-its and highlighters. This week I’m working on the synopsis I need for my final assignment, as well as trying to narrow down who I want to write my (fake) letters to for the assignment (although I hope the fake ones eventually become real). I’ll start working in these edits as well, especially for one chapter that. my instructor/editor requested. I have no idea if this process will work, but at least I’m doing something.

    I’m so impressed, Vicky. Your manuscript will find a home soon, I just know it.

  4. Oh my gosh! So excited for you! Every one of these little steps gets you so much closer to have your novel on shelves in stores and in homes!
    My editing process… Right now, I do it all on my own. I separate myself from the work for a long enough time that I forget it (in a way). Then I go back with a finetooth comb (or on-screen cursor) and read it like it’s the work of my worst enemy. I need that separation. Right now I can hardly think about editing. I still have 40k to write!

  5. Even editors who are also writers need editors! πŸ™‚ It’s incredibly difficult to spot places that need improvement when you’re close to a project. I’m glad to hear you have an editor who works with you to help bring out your message without compromising the integrity of your story. This is very important. Happy editing!

  6. I agree, it is really difficult to edit. And I don’t think a writer can do that by herself. She needs that objective viewpoint. Sounds like you have a great working relationship with your agent.

  7. I write, hand to pen to paper first, then type and print, then make changes pen to paper, and keep going until I think it’s OK. Then I let my wife read and hear it. She then tells me the good- or mostly bad news about my poetry πŸ™‚

    She has a way of finding the nub of a piece of writing, good or bad and asking the question that needs asking. Then I go away and start again.


  8. I’m always such a fan of your determination and focus. I don’t know how you will manange it, but I do want a signed copy of the book when it’s published. Lets face it, with your determination, I regard publication as a formality

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