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MKL1025
03-04-2008, 05:31 AM
So, I just received my editorial letter, or rather my editorial "package" with my marked up MS and suggested changes from my editor.

At first, I was terrified to open it, even though I think my editor is fabulous. I made my husband open it first!

Anyway, her changes are all good ones. Most of them are just "add a few more references to X" and "be careful of Y" and such. I'm going to let the suggestions marinade for a few days before I try to attack them.

Yet, it is somewhat daunting to see the work ahead of me. I'm looking forward to it, but some of the edits cause me to slap my forehead and say, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"

Overall, I will absolutely come out of this a much stronger writer. It's just very surreal (and nerve-wracking and exciting) to see my little old MS all marked up.

Anyone have a similar experience?

aka eraser
03-04-2008, 05:38 AM
...

Anyone have a similar experience?

Yep.

Hated it.

;)

sheadakota
03-04-2008, 06:16 AM
Oh yeah, I was like- 'You want me to cut that??- No freaking way- I LOVE that- *sigh* I bucked up and murdered my darlings (my words)

it gets easier I promise.

Claudia Gray
03-04-2008, 06:24 AM
I loved my editorial letters too. It's great to get guidance that you know will work for you and your book, even if it does require a whole lot of effort!

Mumut
03-04-2008, 06:59 AM
I'm getting help write a film script for my book. The bloke helping me, who has had plays performed and one made into a film, says I should put some romance into it. How can I do that, for goodness sakes? I'm 63! You can't teach an old dog new tricks. How can I write about something don't know anything about? I'm not THAT good a fiction writer!

maestrowork
03-04-2008, 07:12 AM
The editing process was by far the most difficult, but also educational for me.

Susan Breen
03-04-2008, 07:53 AM
It wasn't too bad because it was so specific. I remember there was a question about whether you could really buy a pretzel outside of Grand Central after ten o'clock at night. There were some that took more thought than that, but it wasn't anything that required me to rethink the whole book.

Cassidy
03-04-2008, 08:23 AM
I loved the process and learned a ton from my editor. With the first one, I was a bit overwhelmed by some of the suggestions-- not disagreeing, just-- eek, how do I fix that? But once I got into it, it was fine. Enjoyable, even. Plus my editor is actually very funny as well as insightful, so some of her comments made me laugh even as I tore my hair our over them. I had some very specific things too-- I had to rewrite one scene because she questioned whether my 15 year old MC could actually get a navel piercing without parental consent. Turns out it'd be pretty hard in the town the novel is set in! I called just about every piercing place in town in hopes of finding one that was a bit lax about the rules, but no dice... Anyway, overall it was a great experience, one that improved both the book and my own writing abilities.

Sunnyside
03-04-2008, 07:16 PM
Yet, it is somewhat daunting to see the work ahead of me. I'm looking forward to it, but some of the edits cause me to slap my forehead and say, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"

Ha! That was generally my experience as well! I don't know how typical my experience was, but my editor sort of edited things along the way, so by the time we went to the formal copyediting process, we didn't have a lot of major work to do. (Most of the really "tough love" changes had already been made, including a recommendation that I go back and merge two chapters together, excising entire sections -- a tough task, but it was the right call.)

And I must say, copyeditors are AMAZING people. I had made one reference -- almost a throwaway -- to the the weather in London in a particular year, and the copyeditor had written a lengthy note back, saying she didn't believe that was entirely correct, and citing an obscure (but really great) source for her information. I cited mine, and we went back and forth a bit, and then settled on a rephrasing. But THAT'S the kind of stuff a good copyeditor can do for you.

Anyway, that's a roundabout way of saying that I thought the whole process was a lot of fun -- and I almost always thought my editor's decisions were the right ones. (But yes, there are STILL places where I wish I had an excised graf or turn of phrase...)

JamieFord
03-04-2008, 07:24 PM
I learned a LOT from the process. Book #2 is definitely tighter because of what I went through on book #1. It's tough love, but it's love.

smlgr8
03-04-2008, 07:34 PM
It's funny really, because when I started edits on my book coming out I thought, wow, if there's so much wrong with it, why did you contract it, LOL, but it really wasn't as much as I thought it was at first. I realized it was completely doable after I had a nice glass of wine and re-read the editor's comments.

MKL1025
03-04-2008, 08:57 PM
It's funny really, because when I started edits on my book coming out I thought, wow, if there's so much wrong with it, why did you contract it, LOL, but it really wasn't as much as I thought it was at first. I realized it was completely doable after I had a nice glass of wine and re-read the editor's comments.

No kidding! My immediate reaction was, "Oh Lord. WHY did they ever buy it with all of these obvious corrections to be made?"

It's funny because I finished the MS over a year ago, and I feel like my writing is so much better now and I've already had more than a few cringes at some word choice, etc. Kind of like when I went back to start doing revisions after I completed it.

My plan for tonight is to look them over again with a glass of wine. Or two. Or three.

ishtar'sgate
03-04-2008, 09:59 PM
Overall, I will absolutely come out of this a much stronger writer. It's just very surreal (and nerve-wracking and exciting) to see my little old MS all marked up.

Anyone have a similar experience?
Not exactly. Congrats on your sale, by the way. My editor and I made all revisions to my manuscript through email attachments. Then I had to deal with those little nitpicker proof readers once I got my galleys from the publisher. The process is long and hard but I think you're correct in your assessment that we become better writers once we've been through the process.
Linnea