The editing process, writing craft musings

I just signed my first writing contract for a romantic short story called The Last Straw. My publisher is The Wild Rose Press. Now I am on my 20th hour of the first round of edits.

In this post I talked about deep point of view:  Writing craft musings and Brenda Novak. A lot of the editing steps help increase the experience of deep POV. The publisher provides a list to help authors. The list gives a systematic way to edit. Use Find and search for specific words, then rewrite. Some things you have to look for by reading, but many things can be found by searching for certain strings. I can’t even imagine doing this effectively in the days of typewriters. No wonder so few authors were published in those days. With the help of word processing, we can all improve.

Here is an excerpt from my edit letter. I think it articulates why we do all this editing even though the original was correct and good enough for the publisher to offer a contract.

All of this is to make your book even better. Most readers won’t be thinking “wow, I wish this sentence wasn’t quite so distant,” but they will notice they’re not as engaged with the book overall as they are with others. And we really want readers to engage with your story!

Aside from all the struck-out text all over my manuscript, “bleeding red ink” as we say, I can see how much more effective the story is now. In the past, I resisted doing this kind of a deep edit, but now that I’ve done it and seen the results, I love it! It’s worth every bleeding splash of virtual ink and all the hours of work if, at the end, the manuscript looks more like Brenda Novak’s work, smooth and engaging, but in my voice. What a thrill to contribute to the reading world a fresh and enjoyable story by Nia Simone!