Apr 15, 2014

First Edits

First edits are a daunting thing. The first feedback an editor provides to an author on a manuscript always calls for the most intensive work you'll carry out in the whole editing process.

The other day, I got back the first edits on Lady Raven. As I expected, there's a lot of work to be done.

Quoth the raven: "Evermore edits"
Let me tell you, it never stops being scary. This year my third and fourth novels are being published, so while I'm not an experienced author or anything, I'm not quite a beginner anymore. I've been through some tough edits. But seeing that email come in and the little paperclip icon telling me there's an attachment makes my heart jump into my throat every single time.

First edits are a good thing. As scary as they are, they signal the point where things start to get real. Where your work starts to transform, changing from a manuscript into a fully-realized novel. But the fear is good. The fear means you still know you make mistakes. You have to hold on to that fear, because admitting you make mistakes keeps you humble. And if anything, edits require humility.

Your editor is your lifeline. You editor will say the things you need to hear, even if you don't want to hear them. Listen to them, learn from them. They're the essential outside, expert opinion you need to make your book the best it can be.

If you're able to self-edit, more power to you. I'd be very wary about trying it, myself, and would always recommend using a professional editor, whether that means submitting to a publisher so they'll provide one for you, or hiring one yourself.

So now we start my last "first edits" of the year. We're one step closer to Lady Raven taking flight.

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