Thursday, June 23, 2011

When 'The Email' Arrives ~ Macro Edits

There are several phases your publisher will put your novel through. But you aren't dwelling on it too much since you sent in your manuscript and you are distracted by writing another book. . .right?

Then 'the' day arrives when you open your email box and see you've received an email from your editor telling you the first round of edits is ready and waiting, and you have a two week deadline. Then your eyes move down to see there are several files attached.

Three of the files were 'Comments and Suggestions', 'Overused words' and another 'Timeline'. Both were extremely helpful. My palms sweated before clicking 'open' on the macro file. Ah, pretty pink and blue track changes, and not too many of them. Trust your editor!

Here are a few tips on making it through the 'macro edit' phase.

1. Breath deeply.
2. Calm down, and save the files.
3. Open files that are not the manuscript first.
4. Print these out.
5. Find a quiet place in your house and a comfy chair.
6. Sit down and read these over before you open your manuscript. Highlight important sections.

Note: At first you might feel a bit freaked out. But read these files over a couple times and let the leading of your editor sink in.

When you finally roll up your sleeves to work on your edits, remember this one important thing. Your publisher's goal is to polish your book to a high sheen. You will not be required to accept every change, but consider them carefully before you reject them.

The editing phase can be a fantastic experience. You will learn so much from the editorial team, and it will make you a better author.

For those of you who have gone through the process, how was it?
For those of you who have not yet gone through an editing phase, post your questions.

Happy Writing!

5 comments:

CHickey said...

Maybe I'm weird, but I love this stage! Means I'm that much closer to holding "my baby".

Melissa K Norris said...

Do you go through a similiar version of this with your agent before submitting your manuscript?

I haven't reached this point yet, but love the tips so I'll know what to expect when the time comes.

Melissa K Norris said...

Do you go through a similiar version of this with your agent before submitting your manuscript?

I haven't reached this point yet, but love the tips so I'll know what to expect when the time comes.

Rita Gerlach said...

I love this stage too, Cynthia.

Melissa, to be honest, I had a bad experience with an agent and have not sought one since. I'm doing okay without one for the moment. But to answer your question, in my experience my then agent did not read my manuscripts. But it may be different with other agents. I guess it depends on their workload. Some might only read the proposal.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I am hoping that working with a freelance editor is giving me some of that experience now. The first set I got back from her kind of took my breath away because I thought it was going to be more spit and polish but the second set I got into a groove and even though it was as much as the first time to work on I "got" where she was coming from. Thanks for the post, Rita!