Okay, so there seems to be a whole bunch of writers in my world going through the editing process. All with varying degrees of satisfaction.

 I just finished my first set of edits on The Healer’s Garden. (Not that there will be more, just that it’s my first time, anyhoo…) It was a relatively painless process of skimming through the novel, fixing poor word choices, and tightening purple prose. (I gave up on commas and let my editor deal with my pepper shaker method of distributing the little buggers in my writing.) Two days later I had the final manuscript sent back to my editor. If I understand correctly, it went to the proofers and then it’s off to the printers.

Now, my CP on the other hand, is in the beginning stages of edits and she’s tearing her hair out. She has a major cut in her word count (which didn’t come as a shock to her as the original manuscript tipped the scale at nearly 150K), but her editor has asked her to revamp several characters including the hero.

Then there’s a blogger friend who just finished the edits of her crime novel and though I don’t have the specifics, it sounded like she had some word count issues and tightening and had to revamp some scenes.

Why, do I mention all this? Because I envy them. (Ah, did you see that one coming?)

I just can’t believe that my first novel wouldn’t require some major revisions like scene deletions or character development or… I don’t know, something. Sure, I had two other authors and a friend read through it and offer suggestions and I did a major rewrite myself, but I’m still a little noodgie. Is my book truly the best it can be at this point?

Do I trust my editor. Absolutely.

Do I trust my own talent as a writer. Not even sort of!

I think I would be sitting more comfortably if I had gone through the hair-pulling, keyboard-banging, late night frustration of being forced to look at my novel through fresh eyes.

And maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Either way, my edits are finished and my novel is out of my hands. I get one more look through when I get the galleys, but if I understand correctly, no major changes can be made at that stage of the game. It’s basically a check for spelling. (I think.)

Anyway, I’m just curious how your edits went or what you expect when you get them. Do tell.

5 Responses to Edit Envy

  • First of all, as an author I felt the same way with my first edits. I didn’t have very many, and with each book they seem to get less and less.

    Putting on my publisher cap, your story was very well “painted”. Sort of a not quite so perfect “baby bear bowl of porridge”. Still needed edits, but was very well written.

    I will say this though, not to say your friends aren’t as good an author as others with less edits, but that some people just have a way of being able to put the movie in their head of their book onto paper better than others. You, my dear, have that gift. 😉

  • Tina, I’m speechless. That comment meant the world to me. Thanks.

  • I felt the exact same way when I was looking for my edits. I was so excited to get them, and I felt kind of like a nutcase, because I know from other authors that edits can be brutal.

    But I hadn’t had much feedback other than “Your story has been accepted…” You would think that would be enough, but I wanted to know what my editor thought, where I had gotten it right, where I needed to chisel a bit.

    What I found was that the changes were mostly cosmetic, and afterwards I was thankful for that. No rewriting of scenes, characters, or anything that would make me pull my hair out. Because, for me, a scene usually isn’t something that can be lifted out, changed, and then replaced without repercussions spreading through the whole manuscript. However, my editor did point out that I’d mentioned my hero’s hands, well…a lot. More than five times in a novella. Embarrassing. My secret is out – I guess I have a thing for hands, at least Connor’s. After all, he is a construction worker 😉

  • Umm, I’ve had two books published, the first at Liquid Silver and the second at New Concepts. With my first one I thought maybe it was a fluke, I didn’t have to do a thing to my book. Nothing substansive had to be changed. My editor just had me do a final read through and that was it. I thought okay I would have to do more with my second, since it was a different publisher. I thought wrong. Once again all I had to do was a final read through and send it back. I’m not saying all my books won’t need any work, but I must admit I felt pretty good about it. I was worried about doing edits in the first place.


  • Welcome Marisa and Nina. After all the stories one hears about nightmare edits, it’s interesting when they’re not what you expect.

    I agree about the scene changes with you Nina. I worried what the ripple effect would be if I was asked to cut back words. An author can drive themselves nuts trying to figure out if a scene is worth the word count. Thankfully, I wrote the book I wanted and they didn’t ask me to cut out anything. (And I’m totally with you on the hand thing… it’s an obsession of mine as well… it’s fun to think what those male hands can do for us!)

    Marisa, I think you were recently in the same place I am… your debut novel with Liquid Silver. I’m glad to hear that it is possible the minimal editing on my manuscript may not have been a fluke. Good luck on your second release.