Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What It's Like To Tackle Your First Editorial Letter

Reading the letter: Whoa, so that's a lot of stuff to fix. Don't freak out. Don't freak out. Crap, I'm freaking out.

After a day or two: It's not so bad, and at least my editor pointed out every section that needs work! That's cool. Really takes out the guess work.

Starting edits: WHY did I write such a freaking long book? Seriously, 70k is a lot of words. What was I thinking? This is going to take forever.

While editing: This is hard, with all the cutting and changing and tweaking and expanding and fleshing out and whatnot.

Well, it's not SO bad...I forgot how funny that one scene was.

Hey! A page with no comments! Sweet. Oh wait, I still need to fix something on it because that sentence sounds stupid.

Aw, my editor liked that scene. I LOVE THAT SCENE NOW. I did something right!

Errr, except this next 50 pages needs major alterations. *dies*

Almost done! I haven't showered for three days and every room in my house is a disaster! But SO CLOSE.

When finished: YAY! *happy dance* *nap* *awaken* What the heck happened to my house? Oh yeah...but I'm DONE!


Wait. If I'm done, that means I have to send it back to my editor. And if she deems it good enough, that's it. No more big edits. This is basically what people will read...


What if I didn't do enough? It will be MY FAULT if people hate it! They will point out that flaw and the one over there. And there will be nothing I can do to fix it because it will be done and PERMANENT and how can I be done when I've been working on this novel for over TWO YEARS!?!?!

*frantically reads it again*


  1. I feel your pain. I just went through my first edits too. When you get to that point, your writing career has involved lots of positive reinforcement for your book: your betas liked it enough for you to query it; agent liked it enough to rep it; publisher liked it enough to buy it.

    Then the edits come in and it feels like nobody likes the book--not even you--for a while.

    Good luck with it :)

  2. Yeah, edits. I just finished up some agent edits. It was minor, but I find that continuity is your enemy when doing those edits.

  3. Think along the lines of that British propaganda poster: Keep calm and carry on.

  4. I don't mean to laugh at your pain, but it is kind of funny. (Mainly because I haven't been through it. Yet. Almost forgot the yet.) I'm sure the book is awesome. Deep breaths.

  5. Hehe, glad you can have a sense of humor about it. Don't worry about being perfect. Perfect is boring. We love YOU, and I'm sure we'll love your story.

  6. Ok, Natalie, I just sent my line edits back yesterday and this is word for word how it felt. I'm currently biting nails while she prints it and reads it this week, hoping there are no more changes and terrified that it might be "finished."

    Good luck to us both!

  7. Your book will be FABULOUS! People will love it, and it'll be awesome. :)

  8. I've just hit the "major changes" part of the timeline in one section. My freak-out meter is threatening to spike, as I type this.

    But congrats on finishing yours. (I may have to hate you a little until I'm done with mine. That goes for Gen, too.) :-P

  9. Looking forward to the day...

  10. Waiting to face this day with both fear and trepidation. LOL. Best of luck!

  11. Glad you're still sane enough to post about all of it! Take a shower (lol), have some cookies, and remember that we all think you're made of awesome. :)

    Also, YAY YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!! Which means we're one step closer to getting to read your book! XD

  12. I so look forward to the day I can wear that expression O_O on my face! Thanks for the smile. And the warning. Good luck!!

  13. Awesome that you're done. I think most people freak out at various times about whether people will like their book. I'm sure yours is great.

  14. Yeah, this sounds about right, and my edits aren't even nearly as close to done as yours are!

  15. I'm waiting for my editor's letter right now...I'm excited/nervous! My book is 89,000, so I can sympathsize with your feelings about length! But yay to your edits...I'm sure the book will be awesome!

  16. I love reading your posts! My editing kind of sounds like that too (except no Editor).