Tag Archive for: copyedits

That Editing… So Hot Right Now

by Bethany Maines

It’s that time again. The editing time.  The time when I get back all the stupidy stupidy line edits and have to go through and approve them. That’s the worst part.  I have to approve them.  OK, I don’t absolutely HAVE to, but the truth is about 8 out of every 10 line edits are the correct decision. Of the other two, one is probably a matter of preference and the other is absolutely right the way it was the first time. Why don’t you understand my genius you piddling moron who is merely paid to sift through the words and divine my sheer awesomeness?

It’s possible that the last sentence there was a bit of an overstatement.

But my secret internal Mugatu doesn’t think it was.

Mugatu, for those who haven’t watched the hilariously improbable Zoolander, is the fashion designer / evil genius, played by Will Ferrell, who is attempting kill the prime minister of Malaysia by brainwashing male model Derek Zoolander. Many writers, myself included, seem to yo-yo between the states of modesty (I write pretty well), ego (I’m a genius!!), and self-hatred (why would anyone read the crap I produce?). I picture modesty as the quiet saintly type – a Buddhist nun (who secretly knows kung fu) and self-hatred as the goggly-eyed guy from the Maltese Falcon who says the worst things in the sweetest voice.  And nowhere are those states of being more quickly cycled through than the editing rounds. Each tweak of the text from the editor is like some sort of judgement from on high that can send me off into a Mugatu-esque rage or goggly-eyed shame spiral.  It’s up the the Kung Fu nun to bring balance and harmony. Although, admittedly sometimes the nun needs a little help from a glass of wine and a jog around the block.

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie
Mae Mysteries
, Tales from the City of
and An Unseen Current.
You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video
or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Act of Revision

When you think of what an author does all day, most people think about the creative part. Weaving a story from an idea, or three, into a full fledged book, filled with characters, conflict, and, emotion.

That happens, but not in the first draft.

I’ve got revisions on the brain. I just finished my final, first draft for a bull rider’s book. I had a beta reader who acted like a first editor, read through and help clean up the draft. Then, as I went through my own drafting process, I also incorporated her comments.

Then it went to my publisher. Now that I’ve sold the project, the book will be back on my desk in a few weeks for copy edits.

By the time the story is done, the book will have gone through five sets of ‘edits’ including my original changes from my first draft.

Why am I telling you this? This weekend, I gave a talk to a local writer’s group. At break, one of the members came to be to ask about a scene in his story where the woman overcomes massive childhood issues with a love scene. The author talked about the symbolism of the act and explained what it all meant.  When I mentioned that he might need to show her healing in other ways then use the scene as a cumulation of the growth in the character’s arc, he shook his head. The book, he said, was already done.

I disagree. A book is never done until it’s published and in the readers hands. Even if you’re shopping what you believe to be a finished product to agents and editors, you may need to tweak and adjust the story to score that contract. And even then, your story may change during the publisher’s editing process.

I used to believe that once I wrote ‘The End’, the book was done.

Now, I realize that is a fairy tale.  It takes a village to write a book. From beta readers, critique partners, to agents, copy, developmental and line editors, many hands touch your baby as it goes through the process.  At the end, you’ll have a better product.  Or at least that’s the goal.

I’m heading back to the editing cave.

What’s next?

by: Joelle Charbonneau

Being a writer is a funny thing.  You write a book.  The process of writing that book takes months or years.  Then there is the editing, which can take more months, copyedits, page proofs, etc…etc…etc…  Shepherding a book from the opening line to the moment where it hits shelves and magically ends up in readers’ hands can take years.  Release day is a joyous and nerve-wracking event.  I know I tend to gnaw off my fingernails hoping that the people who pick up the book will like it….or more to the point, hoping that people actually pick up the book!  A week goes by in that happy state.  Maybe two, if you’re lucky.  Then comes the question….

What’s next?

When’s the next book?

What are you writing now?

And while it can be a little startling at times for writers who just had a book hit shelves to hear people ask when the next one is going to make its way into bookstores (because, hey–no pressure or anything) – it is also wonderful.  Knowing that readers are engaged enough to want to mark their calendars so they don’t miss the next release is something to truly celebrate.

What’s next is on my mind a lot right now.  Technically, I know what’s next for readers.  Skating Under The Wire (Rebecca Robbins #4) will be published on Oct. 1st.  I even known what’s next for readers several books past that.  Independent Study (The Testing Trilogy #2) AND A Chorus Lineup (Glee Club #3) both will arrive in bookstores on January 7th, 2014 with Graduation Day (The Testing Trilogy #3) coming out on June 3, 2014.

Phew.  It makes me tired thinking about it.

And yet, not that tired, because even though I just turned in copyedits for Graduation Day yesterday, I can’t help thinking about “What’s next?” for me.  What new story will I tell?  You’d think I’d want a break after writing 5 books in just over a year and a half.  Heck, I thought I did.  But now that I’ve climbed the mountain that brought me here, I can’t help searching for a new one to climb.  And hopefully, readers will want to take that journey with me.

So, how about you?  Readers – when you finish a book you love, do you automatically wonder when the next book by that author will be published?  And for my fellow writers – do you reach the other side of the mountain, pitch a tent and relax or are you crazy like me and start gearing up immediately for the next climb?