When I sold MAY B., I invited my readers along on my publication journey. Here goes!
First stop: first-round edits.*
As I mentioned Monday, editors approach their work differently. Still, all editors write a letter to send to their author along with the marked-up manuscript. What might an editorial letter include?
- Nicole started my editorial letter by affirming me as a writer. Not a bad thing! “I love this book! You have done such a wonderful job; at times I felt I was only fiddling with your beautiful narrative, but fiddle I must and have done…This edit is like pruning a prized rose bush: a little there, not too much here.” How’s that for motivation to do my best work?
- A reminder that edits are not “carved in stone” and that when there are areas that need work, I am to assume I can “revise as [I] see fit”.
- A suggestion as to how to approach the work: Read through with all the edits and comments first before getting started.
- A heads up as to what I will find in the edits. If you need to add some scenes (as I do), this will be the place the content is addressed.
- Questions that aren’t yet answered in the text/threads that need to come together. (I’ve got several things to work on in regard to character motivation).
- Possible new solutions to problems you and your editor have discussed before. (I’ve got a big portion toward the end of MAY B. that I’ll need to re-work. I’ve been thinking. Nicole’s been thinking. She’s shared some ideas to help move the story in the direction it needs to go).
- Technicalities you might need to address at a later date. (Mine have to do with “soft” returns and an eventual editing round devoted entirely to small things like articles and conjunctions).
I have a month to work through this first round. Here’s to a productive four weeks (in the midst of a house on the market and an impending move)!
*Because it is not unusual to begin edits before contract negotiation is complete, I’ve chosen to hold off on my contract post.