Writing Wednesdays: Process: Final Edits

I got edits back for my new book last Tuesday morning. On Monday, my editor told me they were coming and made this suggestion, among others: “I think just a small notice about Gal’s own solitude/her solitary ways even when surrounded by ‘company’ could give us an emotional boost. Does that make sense?” Nope, it did not. I didn’t know if she meant a whole scene or a few lines, but when I got the edits, I was thinking about her comment as I went through.

And suddenly, I understood what she meant. It only took a few lines in maybe three or four scenes.

This is the enormous benefit of having an editor: they see things you can’t, and what they say can plant seeds for bigger ideas. This is also the case for critique groups and good beta readers, too. It’s really hard to see everything you need to, by yourself.

I spoke with my editor last Wednesday and chatted about how much her one tiny comment had helped clarify what I needed to do.

And then she said, “So, when do you think you’ll get back to work on it?”

I said, “Actually, I’m going to e-mail it to you as soon as we get off the phone.”

There really had not been much work to do. I did it all on Tuesday, over the course of the day, and spent Wednesday morning checking it over. I did have to rework one scene a bit, but that was it. And I made Cadillac re-read all the big changes to make sure they made sense. After all, I have been known to accidentally change a character’s eye color or make them grow a beard in five minutes.

See all the comments of “good,” “nice,” and the stars? She said at first she’d planned to email me the edits, but wanted me to have the manuscript so I could see all the stars she’d given me. Yay! I felt like I was getting an A.

Now it’s officially accepted, and the manuscript has been sent to production. Then I’ll have to look at proofs and do copy edits in a few months. I don’t have the official release date, but it will most likely be in May 2012 or thereabouts.

Time to start the next project!

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

One thought on “Writing Wednesdays: Process: Final Edits

  1. Many years ago when I was writing my master’s thesis, my thesis chair kept suggesting the same edit be made — that I needed to add to add some theory that would weave through my examples (this probably makes no sense without context). I was stumped and had no idea what she meant. The thesis seemed fine to me. And then finally, I got it. And she was absolutely right. Adding those elements really made it come together and was that much stronger a piece. So to your point about how great an editor is, I completely agree!

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