Welcome to the first post in EDITING 101, a series of blog posts dedicated to the editing process.
So much focus is on the writing, it’s easy to forget the editing. And yet, most of writing is rewriting, which means...editing.
First up, there are those writers who aren’t keen on editing. They see it as a chore. Shouldn’t a writer just know how to write and badda-bing-badda-boom, perfect prose emerges?
Not a single typo, repetitive phrase, clunky plot, or awkward phrase. Perfect.
Guess what? There is no such person. That’s not how writing works. Ever. The writer is NEVER the only person in the writing process.
There are developmental editors, proofers, copy editors, even acquisition editors who have a say in the final product. It’s always a team process.
But, that’s when you get the contract. Before you get the contract, you have to work through your first draft yourself. Some people engage their beta reader team, others hire an editor. Either way, it helps to have a second and/or third opinion from someone other than your nearest and dearest (they don’t know any better and will tell you they love it).
Here’s the deal: Once you have that contract, your novel will head out on the first round of edits. Here’s where you’ll wonder how you got a contract in the first place. Your editor is generally not a cuddly bunny hippity hopping you through the changes. They need the book to be as close to perfect as possible (notice I said, close to), and they will let you know how far away from 'close to' your ms is.
But, they’re not done with you, yet. The ms then goes through a second round of edits. There will be even more things you need to fix up. Here’s where you’ll discover that you’re a huge fan of certain stock phrases or that your hero and heroine use the same swear words.
Now, it’s ready for publication. Nope, no it isn’t. It now heads out to the proofer. Once again, the proofed copy will be back in your inbox for checking. And, interestingly, there are some words/phrases out there that despite all of this editing, still make it through unnoticed - these often get picked up by your ARC (advanced reader copy) readers. Or people who hated your book and have listed your infringements on Goodreads.
Next in the EDITING 101 series: Words you can delete from your first draft to tighten your prose, immediately
HEA ROMANCE WRITING
Everything you need to know to write your own happily ever after.