Monday, June 11, 2012

The Oh So Fun Process of Editing Your Novel

For the Day Eleven prompt of the 28-Day Blog Challenge for Authors the question is:

Describe your editing process. Who edited your book? What was your relationship with your editor like? What could each of you have done to improve it? What might you do differently in the future?

Ugh editing, probably my least favorite part of the writing process. I know people who feel the exact opposite. They love going back over their stories with a fine tooth comb and fixing everything that's wrong with them. I consider my strength free writing. I spit out a first draft like nobody's business. Every scene has been worked out in my head a million times over before I even type a single word.

What I found the most helpful thing to do in editing is walk away for awhile. When you're writing at times, it's like you have beer goggles on. You may think you're writing the next great American novel one night and then wake up the next morning and wonder what the hell you were thinking. When I finished the first draft of First Visions, I forced myself to not open the file for a week. When I went back to it, I had a clear head and I could really look at it with a critical eye. After my first two rounds of edits, I had a few people read the book and get their feedback. Then made another round of edits.

I held off working with an editor at first because I received differing opinions on this. Writers told me to wait to hear back from my queries since editing can be subjective a lot of the times. During this time, I received some helpful (and some not so helpful) advice from agents and small press editors on things I could do to the story to improve it. Some of the opinions I ignored, but a few of the suggestions I took to heart during my next round of edits.

After I passed on two offers from small presses, I knew I needed to hire an editor before I published the book. Since I do freelance work on Elance, I decided to post an ad there (don't ask about the one I posted on Craigslist, I still have weirdos send me all sorts of crazy requests). Being on the other side, I found selecting a freelancer a tricky thing. There seemed to be no sort of average bid amount. I got offers starting at $100 to edit a 62,000 word novel to $750. Based on experience, editing samples and her profile feedback, I chose Trisha to work with. Overall, it was a positive experience. She used track changes and did all the edits I requested in a timely and professional manner.

Jeez, this makes me tired just looking at my process (and I'm going to do this all over again with book two? Gulp). Can't wait to hear about other writers' experiences with editing.

5 comments:

  1. I am roflmao at your comment on Craigslist. How true! $100?!?! OMG! They were in desperate need! I'm glad you found a great editor to work with. WRITE ON!!

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  2. [...] HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD. Ugh editing, probably my least favorite part of the writing process. I know people who feel the exact opposite. They love going back over their stories with a fine tooth comb and fixing everything that’s wrong with them. I consider my strength free writing. I spit out a first draft like nobody’s business. Every scene has been worked out in my head a million times over before I even type a single word. What I found the most helpful thing to do in editing is walk away for awhile. [...]

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  3. [...] The Oh So Fun Process of Editing Your Novel [...]

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  4. Oh, editing, how I loathe thee. Most bids I received were in the $1000 range (for an approx. 108,000 word book. I'm sure the word count would be much lower after). Glad to see I'm not the only one who breaks down and curls up into the fetal position when thinking about editing.

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  5. Haha, love the fetal position comment. My second book is probably going to end up longer so I'm betting quotes will be closer to that $1,000 range.

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