In the featured photo, blue indicates changed text.

Receive first publishing contract for a romantic short story (50 pages), do the *happy dance,* sign the contract.

Next comes edits. The (wonderful) Wild Rose Press editor sends high-level view of what can be improved. Sends an Author Guide with self-editing tips.

Apply each tip systematically, 57.5 hours, but who’s counting.

The story transforms! Improves. Deep point-of-view achieved! (Reader feels like they are in the character’s head, rather than being told a story by an author.)

VERSION 1:

She neither blinked nor breathed as the door swung open, not wanting to miss a second of his reaction. What she hadn’t prepared for was her own reaction to the sheer physicality of him as he sauntered through the door, a white, button-down shirt tucked into belted khakis over what she knew to be tight, muscled abs. His deliberate style of movement came to a smart stop as his perceptive gaze settled on her. Her throat dried and a rustling motion stirred in her abdomen.

VERSION 2:

He sauntered through the door, a white, button-down shirt tucked into belted khakis. When his dark gaze found her, he stopped. Stared. Her throat dried and a rustling motion stirred in her abdomen.

VERSION 1:

His deflated expression provided a measure of payback. But no satisfaction. Enough pretending. She raised her hand with the note and nodded.

VERSION 2:

The corners of his mouth drooped. Payback. But then she lifted the note and nodded. Like a fool.

The types of edits shown above tightened and removed distance between the reader and the characters’ experiences. But a lot of the (57.5 hours) of effort came from adding a sense other than sight throughout the manuscript.

VERSION 1

“A, it’s not a date. B, who says I like him? I never said that.”

VERSION 2

“A,” she said, opening the car door. With the sun gone, the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. She picked up her sweater. “This is not a date. B, who says I like him? I never said that.”

Excerpts from The Last Straw, copyright 2013, Nia Simone.

Accomplished: Manuscript Info Sheet (excerpt, blurb, cover quotes…) DONE. Cover Art Sheets (what do you want on the cover, describe the story, provide links to similar book covers you like, go overboard and do mock-ups in GIMP (actually, they like the writer to do as much as possible.)) DONE

What’s next? Get to skip second round of full edits. (Yay! Editor actually gave virtual gold star.) Next step is “Author copyedit.” Then it goes to copyedit (another editor). (Love editors.)

Lesson: Being Type A works really well for being an author, too. (Like for being a tech writer and project manager.) Doesn’t work that well for retirement.

12 thoughts on “My first edit and what’s next

    1. Thank you so much, Leanne!! Actually, I like how you write. You have a very natural voice and a dry wit. I read all your posts, so there you go! There are lots of ways to write. Popular fiction is just one way.

      Like

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