Thursday, November 12, 2009

We've Come To The End

Revision are done. I can't believe it! These are the words of my editor as she sent the last of the notes: "We made it! Wonderful story, beautifully told." (Isn't she the best??)

It isn't the first set of revisions, of course. There were the critiques from my writing group after the very roughest drafts, and then again after I thought it was "all done." Between requests there were tweakings, and right before NorLightsPress asked for the entire manuscript, I went into panic mode and did more revisions.

So this hasn't been the first edits, but they are the last, and more significantly, they are the professionally driven ones.

As I come to the end, this is what I've learned: Even the little things can be hard to change.

I don't know if it's my rebellious nature or my resistance to change, but even many of the seemingly "happy-to-glad" changes I initially resisted in my head. These small changes: the movement of an adverb from the beginning of the sentence to the middle; the change of one word to another; the rephrasing of a paragraph that seemed awkward.

There were times when I said, "Of course! That makes so much more sense!" But there were times when I thought, "But I like it that way."

Until I actually made the change. And the lightbulb went off. It is much better this way!

This is something else I've learned: Even making small changes can make a big difference.

The paragraphs I wrestled with rewriting; the  dialogs I had to tag; the sentence structure I had to change. Even when I didn't want to do it. Even when in my head I thought, "There's nothing wrong with this..."

When it was all said and done and I sat back and looked at it and realized, Wow! This flows more smoothly, makes more sense, sounds more powerful.

Which is why my editor is brilliant. And why we writers need brilliant editors.

And the wisdom to listen to them.


  1. I'm taking notes on your bit about brilliant editors. You are lucky for both a great editor, and for the wisdom to listen.

    PS: Thanks for visiting my blog, too! {Motherhood is a crazy ride, but I'm on it and taking it as long as it lasts!}

  2. Learning to edit ourselves is an important skill. Learning to be edited is a whole other skill.

    I think having an editor you can trust is a real blessing.

    And girl you are now in a new stage of your journey!!! Take a deep breath and enjoy!!

  3. I wholeheartedly agree! I have almost the exact same reactions, and in the end I agree with probably 90-some percent of what my editor suggests. And the book is better for it!

    Congrats, you're almost there!!!!


  4. Hooray! Can't wait to read.

    I just got my re-writes from my agent and am so excited to see how a deletion here or an added phrase there has tightened my work. Isn't it amazing to have someone else, in the background, making you look the best you can?

  5. Sometimes it takes an unbiased eye to point out things that we're too close to and I totally agree with Heidi the Hick's quote.


  6. Terresa - I am lucky in my editor. She's not only good at what she does, she's accessible as well. She's like the best parts of an agent and an editor wrapped in one.

    Heidi - you are so wise! What a great quote!

    Kim - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! I worried everyone else was looking at their edits and thinking, "She's so right! I'm so wrong!" :)

    Caroline - congrats on this stage of the journey! This is the fun part! :)

    Patti - you're right that it takes an unbiased eye. Sometimes even a couple! I love that in my crit group, everyone seems to be strong in a different area of editing. I've learned so much going through this last edit, and I find myself using what I'm learning in the WIP I'm writing now. Hopefully that will make it a stronger draft to begin with!

  7. Congratulations on finishing up! I can't wait until some far off day when we can say the same thing. And it's amazing how hard it initially is to take critiques and yet they almost always improve your manuscript. I can't even imagine having an editor's input!

  8. That's great!

    Someone recently told me that one of, if not the most important, aspect of writing is the editing. I'm glad you have a brilliant editor.

    And your work was kick-butt to begin with!

  9. D-LiLa-h: I'd expect you will know what it's like to get those editor notes VERY soon!!

    Brit - you always know how to make me feel good! :)

  10. yup my agent is brilliant. what do i know?