Happy Beltane to my pagan friends and Happy May Day to everyone else! I’d rather be celebrating by dancing around a maypole with some colorful ribbons, but instead I’m editing The Shape of Honey, which is still pretty amazing for me.
Editing is probably the most nerve wracking part of writing a new book. When you write a book you just go balls to the wall, get stuff on the page, let the story tell itself (at least that’s what I do), and then after it’s out there and there are these new people floating around in the vast internal universe that is your imagination you have to make their story pretty. So, I spend a few weeks making the scenes pop as much as I can and trying to make sure none of my fast and loose uses of grammar is going to drive an editor who isn’t me to the brink of insanity. Then, with bated breath, I send my file off into the ether of the internet, watching it disappear into the mist like elves off to the Undying Land. It’s sad because now it’s “done” and it has gained immortality. What is done will be set in stone for that universe. No more changing my mind or back plotting.
Only, this is a strange bit of writerly melancholia. It isn’t done. Not by a long shot. Not even a little.
I like getting my first edit back from the publisher because it allows me to improve my story, but most importantly also my overall writing. It’s hard to see all the ways in which I’m not as awesome as I’d hoped I’d be. (Who would have thought I’m not perfect? Yeah, okay, everyone, but the hope is always there that the manuscript needs little adjustment.) On the other hand it’s wonderful to see that first hint of feedback. It’s nice to know the week I spent on a certain scene was worth it, or that the action scene I painstakingly slaved over and made stick figure art for actually makes sense.
If you’re not familiar with publishing, all of those books squirreled away on your shelves and e-reader are an insane collaborative on the part of editors and writers. The editors buff the work with spitshined love and make it glow. No book would be as good as it is without the dedication of wonderful editors.
So, thank you to the wonderful folks at Dreamspinner!
I’m going to get back to work now so that Yulian and Rolly can return to the publisher on time.
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