Monthly Archives: August 2015

What does editing really look like?

So, I got back the first round of edits (thanks Matt!) and am knee deep in them now, and was talking with a friend about the editing process. She was a bit curious about it, thinking that once the writing was done that most of the work was done and about how much actually changes and I thought it would be a pretty good – although short – post because, well, you will see.

This is a picture that I took of the page I am editing. It is actually pretty typical of most pages, there are some notes and comments off to the side that the pic didn’t get, and this page just randomly didn’t include many of them, but there are typically a number of them that call out important points that the writer might have missed or overlooked or just plain got wrong, In addition to this, there is also often an overall letter that discusses the structure, characters, etc of the entire book that doesn’t necessarily address one specific part of the book, but more the work as a whole. Anyway, I thought it might be interesting for you to see, so enjoy!

Edit

So, yeah, editors are a big deal, and really important to the process. Absolute monsters and lifesavers all in one, and I guarantee that your favorite writer wouldn’t be your favorite writer without their favorite editor(s). When they thank them in the acknowledgements it isn’t because they caught that double “the” or the mispelled word (though undoubtedly they did that – also, yes I misspelled mispelled on purpose so congrats if you caught it), but it is for making the story and the characters so much closer to what they are in our head, and what we failed to put on the paper – and often they make them even better than they were in our head. So, with that, another big thanks to the editors I have worked with and those I will work with in the future, as well as a big I’m sorry for the condition of the story you have to read – thanks for believing in me!

Now, back to the word mines with me!

P.S. Even as posted this shot, I saw a few things to change, so remember this is just a draft…

It’s all success even when it’s not

I know, when you aren’t a big shot writer, it’s easy to imagine that we are all living it up like Hemingway, on some island paradise, knocking back the drinks, going on big game hunts (with cameras these days, because we’re cool like that), doing a bit of spying for our respective governments and generally living the lives we write about.

hemingway

While that may be a true a few weeks out of the year for some of us, the rest of the writerly life is one of endurance and perseverance. Oh sure, you may think that the movie Rocky is about a boxer, but its really an allegory for the life of a writer. You get hit. A lot. You get back up and you keep punching those keys. What comes out is sloppy and its ugly but you keep going until the bell rings (that’s the deadline, by the way). Then you do another training montage – outline – get in the ring, write, okay yeah the metaphor is a little thin at this point.

Anyway, what I was getting at is that writing is ugly business and it is painful. The author you see on the shelves at the bookstore has likely been turned down several times (hundreds even!) before finding a home with a publisher. My friend and fellow writer Aeryn Rudel has decided to own this ugly side of the work with his very excellent blog Rejectomancy.  One of the really cool projects he has going there is a live-blogging called Real Time Rejection, which begins with The Journey of Story X. It has received a single rejection so far, and it will be interesting to follow along with it and see where it ends up. He also has some free stories up on his site, so go check him out, I think you’ll enjoy it!

The end. Page 1

Well, that is one book done and off. Now as I await the editor’s notes which will draw blood and make me cry, but will result in a far better product than I ever dreamed I start work on the next book.

After an informal poll on Twitter and Facebook it looks like the next book up is going to be the first book in an urban fantasy noir series that I have been tinkering on for a while, and I am quite excited to flesh it out (sorry Gar, that Historical Romance will have to wait!)

The working title for this one, by the way is simply “Prey” so if you see mention of that, you know what I am referring to. Don’t worry, that won’t be the final title, I have one in mind, I am just not ready to drop it out there yet.

It’s great to have a couple of outlines already lined up and ready to go, and to be equally excited about them. I just need to get my hands on a Time-Turner…