I’ve been on a temporary hiatus due to two major developments in my life! Between revising my debut novel and the thrill of morning sickness, I’ve been a rather occupied. But, I’m here and ready to blog!
Let’s talk briefly about the revision process. Anxious doesn’t come close to describing how I felt about revising, before I even got the editorial notes from my publisher. This was new to me! I’d revised gazillions (that’s a number) of times based on my own thoughts and the opinions of critique partner’s and beta readers. But, from a REAL editor? *gulp* I really didn’t know what to expect.
So, what did I get?
I first received an editorial letter. I’d best compare this to what I would call a thorough Beta Reading document. Basically, a word document where the editor wrote up their thoughts and opinions on my characters, plot, and writing.
From there, I dove into the manuscript. I had the unique situation where my line edits and developmental edits were combined into one large editorial process. Thankfully, the document looked much like the thorough critiques I recieve from my critique group. We’re a fierce bunch of writers and critiquers. They prepared me well! The editorial document was filled with developmental comments about needed character development, areas of great pacing, poor pacing, and always the fun “:) I love this part!” comment. Because, if you are going to give someone suggestions, it’s also nice to point out the good parts too.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the developmental edits (I’m reassured this is a normal reaction when first receiving your editorial letter), I started my revision process with biting off what I could chew.
I dug in deep, repairing not only the areas they suggested but making sure that my novel represents my current writing skills. I wrote the novel three and a half years ago, revising it up ’til Winter of 2012. But guess what happened in 2013? I took a break from revising my own novel to dig in deep and critique others’. I learned so much from this process, that I wrote another novel. Pumping that out in only one month. Winter 2013 and Spring 2013, was my self designed writer’s bootcamp. I can say I’ve learned more about writing from critiquing than any book I’ve purchased or creative writing class I took in college.
So, I decided to go up and beyond the line edit call from my editor, and suggest alternative line edits as well. I use track changes while editing. This way the editor always knows what line edits I suggested and implemented as well as seeing if I met their own suggestions.
I noted ideas of how to meet my editor’s developmental revisions while I completed my line edit pass. Doing this gave my brain the ability to jump right back into developmental edits, knowing exactly how I was going to tackle my issues and where.
I’m now at the point where I’ve completed my first developmental pass of edits and second. I’m giving myself some “time off” so I can return with fresh eyes.
I’m a big believer that fresh eyes is key in creating a great manuscript.
So that’s where I am in the revision process. How do you approach revisions? Whether for your editor, yourself, or a critique partner?
I’d love to hear about it!
OH. P.S. … MY BIG COVER REVEAL IS TOMORROW!!!!