Monday, 12 March 2007

The Wonderful World of Editing

A writer crafts a novel. Every chapter, every paragraph is honed to brightness. The writer shows chapters to her writer's group. More tightening. Queries are sent. Rejections are received.

Writer starts a second novel. She discovers the joys of Excel as she tracks all queries, checks off the rejections, the requests for partials, and notes the non-responses.

Novel number one has been given a spot under the bed, in a cupboard, on the back burner. After - a year? Novel number one is resurrected and sent to a lovely little press in New York State. An immediate request for a partial. Nice. The partial is sent.

Two, three days later? A request for a full. Writer expects to wait six weeks, but a contract is offered in two.

Now comes the real hard work. Editing. Suggestions and adjustments are made, and some scenes must be completely rewritten to comply with the publisher's code of ethics. I have no problem with that. Pages must be added if the writer wants this novel to go to print. Okay, start thinking, girl.

Tonight, I rewrote an important scene, and I'm very pleased with it. I'd like to fire it off to the editor right now, but I'll wait until I do something about the next scene, which is equally important. An alternate conflict must be established so the rest of the book doesn't completely fall apart.

Am I making any sense? When an author works with an editor, is this the normal procedure?

My editor (oh, I really love the sound of that) is willing to wait till all edits are done, and I'll submit the whole shebang once more. Then, I guess I'll wait a bit more. That's fine with me. The Space Between has already waited a long time, and every little edit will likely make it better.


Elle Fredrix said...

Hey Chumplet, I followed you here from Absolute Write.

Congrats on the blog! I started mine last spring, and now I'm having a blast with it.

Also, congrats on signing with WRP. I just signed a contract with them this week!

I'll drop in again...

Chumplet said...

Wow, cool, Elle! Congrats on your signing. I guess we'll ride the editing train together.