Swoon Reads Author Kate Evangelista: For the Love of Editing
In college I got it in my head that everything I wrote was absolute. Meaning my stories didn’t need any editing beyond the grammar. That in my mind the story was intentionally written that way and no one had the right to tell me how to change or fix it. Today, I chalk up this mental state to the hubris of youth.
More than a decade later, I can proudly write this blog post you are reading and state that I love editing. Actually, you may even refer to me as an editing junkie. Dare I say I might even enjoy it more than the writing process at this point? I hear the audible gasps around the world. Before you hyperventilate into a paper bag, which I have been known to do, bear with me and read on.
Writing is exhilarating. The feeling of creating something out of nothing is as close as we can get to flying without our arms turning into wings. When I’m deep into a project, when my characters are speaking to me nonstop, I’m in the thralls of the creative and it’s sublime bordering on surreal without the use of mind-altering drugs. And that feeling of relief once you type the two words every writer longs to see, “The End,” is unbeatable.
But there’s a giddiness that comes with editing that I would like to share with all of you. For me, editorial letters are like love letters from your editor filled to bursting with ideas on how to improve your work. That is certainly how I felt when Holly and I began our editing journey for No Love Allowed. She is the best. It’s actually an honor to rise to the occasion for her.
Editing a story is actually the true test of a writer. It forces you to explore avenues into your work that you might not have seen or were too afraid to take during the creative stage. For Didi’s and Caleb’s story, the examples given to me were nothing short of brilliant. You know your editor is awesome when what is being asked is specific. Generalizations are the hardest to manifest onto paper, so when you’re given an editorial letter with ways to polish your storyline, why not jump at the chance? They certainly make your job as writer so much easier.
Each editorial process is different. At least for me it is. With each new editor I work with I learn something new about myself as a writer that I take with me into future projects. What Holly showed me is I have the tendency to bury the story seven feet deep. It always puts a smile on my face when I see a comment bubble from her saying, “Let’s get to the good stuff.” This is usually followed by copious amounts of deleted paragraphs. *laughs*
I had so much fun editing No Love Allowed that it will definitely show in the final product. The generous part of me wants all the writers in the world to find an editor as awesome as Holly. The selfish part wants to keep her all to myself like “my precious” from Lord of the Rings.
What I know for sure is learn to love editing. Because when you receive that editorial letter in your inbox realize that you are going to be a published author. That your book will be read by countless people. That it will all be worth it once the finished product is finally in your hands.
No Love Allowed is in copyediting! Read an excerpt now!