Swoon Author SM Koz's Editing Update: A Whole New Experience
With my second Swoon Reads book coming out soon, I’ve spent some serious time reflecting on how different my experience was this time around. I came up with an entire page of ideas, but I won’t bore you by listing out all of those, especially some of the less noteworthy ones, like how binge-watching Judge Judy isn’t really great research for a teenage courtroom scene! There are three main differences, though, that made a huge impact on the process and how I felt upon finishing:
1.) Where did the time go?! With Love Me, Love Me Not, I had 18 months to edit and re-edit and re-edit (and obsess over all the edits). With Risking It All, I had to come up with an idea, write the entire thing, and edit it in about 12 months, which meant there was little time for obsessing. And, I’m not going to lie, at some points, the time crunch was overwhelming. But overall, it was nice to see things moving at a quick pace, because I’m always eager to see a new book on the shelf!
2.) What happened to the red pen? There were sooooo many changes needed in my first book. I had mentally prepared myself for the same with Risking It All, so I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively minor tweaks requested by my editor. I think part of this was due to me becoming a better writer (yay!) and the other part was I received editor feedback right from the very beginning when I was brainstorming ideas. This helped keep us on the same page throughout the whole process.
3.) Delete? No problem! If you read my editing post for Love Me, Love Me Not, you know I struggled with removing parts of the story. At times, it felt like I had cut off an appendage whenever a chapter disappeared; however, it was necessary to get the story where it needed to be. This time around, I didn’t have those same struggles. I easily deleted and revised, knowing the sooner I did it, the sooner everything would fall into place.
When I look back at the process as a whole, I have to say Risking It All was substantially easier than my first book thanks to my improved writing, my editor and I getting to know each other better, and me better understanding what it takes to be a Swoon story. I’m hopeful this trend will continue, and I’ll be fortunate enough to write even more books for the awesome Swoon Readers!