The Editing Process: Or, The Pain of Self Discovery

Posted 29 November, 2013 by Tricia Skinner in craft, novel / 3 Comments

Hey Geek Army.

I’ve had an interesting couple of months. Late October brought my first round of edits for ANGEL KIN. If you’ve never experienced the joy (kinda like inhaling a hairball) of reading through an editor’s revision letter (I recommend you first put the sharp objects out of reach), then you may not appreciate what fixing a manuscript within two weeks feels like.

Then repeating the process for the second round. And possibly a third, quality assurance round. Of course, I’m more than happy to walk you through it.

1. The editorial letter arrives and contains suggestions and feedback from your editor to make your manuscript stronger. My initial reaction was natural. I zoomed through the letter, read all the feedback, and then my brain kinda blew up with ideas for fixes. Two weeks? Pfft. No problem.


2. Remember, two weeks is the norm in publishing for an author to make the first round edits then return the manuscript to her editor. That was my experience, but I’d never received such a thorough editing letter. I also sort of had my wedding anniversary coming up. Oh, and my son’s birthday. Did I mention how I caught a cold and lost part of an entire week? Yeah, holy crap. At some point my confidence turned, um, manic.


3. The manic episode led to emails — and phone calls — to people I trusted to keep me focused. I wasn’t sure where to start, what to change first, how much to cut, etc. The editorial letter morphed into a letter of doom. This was my first project with my new publisher and I panicked.


Let me be clear. No one put the pressure on me. I did that all by myself. I’m a perfectionist, left brained, control freak nerd queen. If I turn in work, I am giving the best I could at the time. Edits will happen, and I knew that. Logic blows when you’re the one with a clock ticking away in your head and you’re getting by on a Thera-Flu drip.


4. Ahem. Yes, I allowed my fears and insecurities to kick me in my girly place. I stumbled through the first round of edits, missed the original deadline by three days (don’t. my writer’s soul bleeds for those lost hours). I returned the manuscript to my agent and the editors. The experience taught me one major lesson — the editing process is no joke.


5. So…the second round came along. Yeah, I was thrilled (ahem) to receive the manuscript back with comments on the individual pages. Honestly, I thought I’d nailed it. Nope.


6. I got to work, and let me tell you, I wasn’t messing around. I sprayed my son’s clothes with germ killer after he returned from preschool every day. My husband figured out a way to wake me, get me to work, bring me home, feed me, and get enough water on me so body funk wasn’t an issue. I sat my ass down and with the focus of a raging fire, I worked through the second edits as if life on earth would cease if I was late again.


7. The second edit round was completed a week early. My agent and editors were happy, and I had Thanksgiving to look forward to without the pendulum of the manuscript over my neck. Entangled Publishing has a quality assurance process, copy and line edits, and the final “please, editorial director, please approve the book for publication” stage. Ha! I’ve learned a ton about myself as a writer, the support network I have, and the many people who continue to stand by me.

I can do this writing thing, Geek Army. I can accomplish my dreams. Screw it, I’m Batman!


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3 Responses to “The Editing Process: Or, The Pain of Self Discovery”

  1. Robin

    You did an amazing job on your revisions and are so great to work with! Rest, relax, and rejoice. THEN get to work on the sequel


  2. Aw, thanks, Robin. Working with you and Liz has been a great experience. I’ve learned so much. And yes, the next book is underway. Good Lord, I’ll need more animated gifs. 😉

  3. You did it!!!!

    And that is the most EPIC Batman video ever… Just sayin’!!! :)

    I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to read the book!!!

    Lisa :)

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