Publishing News: I got the developmental edits back this morning! Now I have something I can do! Yay me!
I you have a moment, you can review developmental edits.
My publisher returned to me three items:
- Editing letter – where the editor explains his edits in general, and what he’s looking for me do with my turn at the manuscript.
- A marked-up copy of the edited manuscript – where all the changes the editor made are highlighted for me, so I can see what he did and digest any notes he may have left in the margins.
- A clean copy of the edited manuscript – a copy for me to perform my edits on. There are some markups still in it, but not as many as the other copy.
I read over the editing letter, fully anticipating being outraged and offended. I was not. I agree with everything my editor said, and I will fully comply with his wishes.
To be honest, I’m a little disappointed that there’s not more drama here. I kind of wanted to exercise a little righteous indignation, to rage against the machine. Oh well, maybe later.
My editor has four items he’d like me to work on. In dev edits these are big-picture items, not missing apostrophes or participles dangling.
- Ellipses – I use these to indicate hesitation and uncertainty in dialogue. My editor wants me to cut a third of them, at least. This is the part where I might get a little touchy, but if I’m overusing ellipses and they distract from the narrative, I need to get rid of many of them.
- Over-stating my themes – Yeah. I do that. Fair criticism.
- A big fight scene feels staged – I agree. I’ll work on making it feel more dynamic and emergent rather than long-anticipated and planned.
- A character’s big change – my editor would like to see this character remain unapologetic and unrepentant until several books later. I agree. This character is too valuable as a foil to change so soon. In my defense, I originally wrote this book as a one-off, I hadn’t planned other books. Now that I am planning more, this is a necessary change.
I have 14 days to do my edits and hand my edited copy of the manuscript back. I am going to use every hour of those 14 days. I feel good, I think this is going to go well.
Big Plus – it looks like my editor and I are in synch. A good writer needs a great editor, and I think I got one. I took a quick look at some of his notes in the marked-up version, and, so far, I agree with them all. To quote Rick Blaine, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Big minus – I have to work in MS Word. I do my writing in Pages, not just because it works so much better than MS Word, but because in my day job I use MS products almost exclusively and I am not a fan. Bloatware. Look it up. Or click the link. So maybe this is my ‘rage against the machine’ moment. Curse you, MS Word! From Hell’s heart I stab at thee!
I’ll have more next week, after I really dig into these edits. I’m sure I’ll find some nit-picky things to complain about.