Swoon Author Kiara London: Things Nobody Tells You About Editing
Confession time: I didn't think writers had 100% responsibility for editing their books.
I was truly a romantic. Common sense didn't dawn on me until the manuscript was back in my lap with a laundry list of things to work out. You see, I thought you just turned in a manuscript and poof it would find a way to be perfect.
No, no, no, no, no.
So maybe this list won't pertain to any of you, but for the beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby authors out there let me give you the lowdown.
1. Your editor is your guide, not your fairy godmother. Things don't happen unless you make them happen.
2. Editing is all about feedback. You're going to get constructive criticism—and that doesn't mean they don't like your book! You get that criticism so that you can improve and make your book the best version of itself that it can be.
3. There's lots of different kinds of editors. Development and copyright editors are usually not the same people—and that's good! More eyes to catch things.
4. It's not just about the big picture. After the storyline is polished, everything from a sentence to a comma is debated.
5. Sometimes you have to put your favorite scenes or dialogue on the chopping block because it just doesn't fit.
6. You're going to read your own book more times than you can count on your fingers before it's through, and sometimes you're going to question the quality of your work.
7. This, my friend, is not a weekend project. Not if you want it done right. It's a couple month project. So get comfy.
8. You don't have to agree with every single suggestion.
9. You'll start to nitpick the books you read for pleasure. You've finally finished editing and you're going to treat yourself to a new book, you say? Well...you've spent so much time in editing mode that you'll actively start looking for mistakes.
10. It's a necessary evil. I personally don't like editing, but the result is worth it because in the end it's still 100% mine. And it wouldn't be as rewarding if it had just poofed to perfection.
I was so silly before reality set in. So tell me, are you an editing lover or an editing hater? Any magical thoughts about how the editing process happens?
Until next week,