Monday 27 March 2023

Getting Ready For Editing - The After Process


It's that time of year again where one of my projects heads off to the developmental editor and I start the editing train for the year. This year the project has been a while coming, and has been worked over and over for the past couple of years, so while I'm confident that it's as good as it can be, I'm also nervous that I've missed something huge and my editor will find it within the first few pages. I'm not a writer who does well in the professional edit. It's not something I've ever enjoyed, but nowadays I do find it all the more stressful. That said, there are some things I like to do to get myself into the right mindset for when it comes to starting editing, and I thought that I would share them with you in case they help!

I have, at this point, done so many drafts of my current project that I can't actually remember how many it's been. I know we're into double digits, especially when it comes to after betas and sensitivity readers and the like. That said, I always always like to have at least two final read throughs before the editing process begins. This is for a number of reasons, one being that you never know what you might catch after a break from the project. Another is that sometimes you spot things that have been pinging the back of your brain, but didn't realise until you read it through again, and a final one is it's a good way to put your mind at ease when it comes to whether or not the project is ready to be edited by a professional.

I will spend March and April going through my current project before it's due at the editors on May 1st. My plan is to tighten up the prose, make any notes that might be useful during the editing stages, and also just be sure that this is the right draft that I want to send off. I see nothing as being set in stone deadline wise until I actually send it off, and that helps with the anxiety levels for me at least.

I generally have an idea about what kind of shape I want the book to be in once it's gone through the editing process. Developmental edits are only the first step on that path, but I like to have some idea of what I'm expecting from my editor. Whether that's to just point out plot holes, or whether it's to help me work out what needs to be changed and such, it's really important to me to know this in advance so that I can prepare my editor for it. I'm lucky in that I work with a great team, and we all get along wonderfully, but I'll admit to having nerves at their reaction to the manuscript when they first dive into it.

Usually we have three months to work through the developmental edit so that we have time to make corrections, make changes and not have to work every hour possible. One of the reasons this book has been put off is because my dev editor is in school, and has had other, more important, deadlines to work towards. The last thing I want to be doing is adding to their already full plate, so when I'm sitting there working out what I want this project to be, I make sure that it's in as good a shape as I can make it so that should, hopefully, ease their burden as well.


This is usually the final step, because after all the read throughs and the planning and all of that, there is always going to be a lot of work put into the editing process. It will mean long days, lots of rewrites and working in stressful conditions. I, personally, have to go into it knowing that it will be a lot of hard work, and prepare myself for that. I don't think I've had an editing cycle with any editor in my time that hasn't been filled with said hard work and lots of ups and downs. It's just part of the process for me, and I need to be mentally ready for that.

So those are the ways in which I get ready for editing, and hopefully in a few months, I'll emerge with a better crafted book than I have now. Whatever stage you're at, I hope it's going well for you, and I hope you emerge victorious.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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