Editorial Change

With this month’s topic on unseen changes, I’ve been pondering on what specifically to write about. I considered talking about my experience when I was agented and on submission. I’d expected that getting an agent was the hardest part of publication. I thought that once you got an agent, your book was going to sell. And, to my shock and disappointment…it did not. That would be a good definition of “unseen challenges and obstacles”. In my mind, the agent was the guaranteed step to publication. I learned, the hard way, that it was not.

Fast forward to now. My book is sold, without an agent even, and I am waiting for my changes from my editor. I’m fully expecting “unseen challenges and obstacles” when I get back my notes. And, though I am excited about digging into it again and making it better, I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous. This is my first editorial edit (though I did have a few rewrite and resubmit from editors in the past). 

For those of you who’ve done this already, how did it go for you? Did you have lots of unseen obstacles you had to get over after you got your initial edits back? Would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

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About Kristal Shaff

Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn't leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 4 awesome kids. When she isn't writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.

9 thoughts on “Editorial Change

  1. So far my editing experiences have been good. We always end up adding scenes, and I’ve had to make a few painful cuts, but for the most part, I understood all of the changes my editor wanted to make and my books have been the better for them 🙂

  2. Editing has been my biggest challenge so far, but we have an awesome editor. I look back at what the book was when we started and how we finished it. Thank goodness for her, all that work paid off for sure.

  3. I’ve known other people who got an agent but couldn’t sell their book, so it does happen.

    I hire a freelance editor for content, line, and copy edits. Content edits are the toughest to deal with. She had a lot of suggestions for Twinned Universes, and while I agreed with a lot of them, some of them would have changed the book into something I didn’t want it to be. Sometimes you have to find a way to address the editor’s concerns while staying true to your vision.

  4. Editing changes were really hard for me at times. But when a bumped against particularly hard changes, I’d give myself a day or two to think about the comments objectively, as opposed to my knee-jerk “but I LIKED it that way” response. 98% of the time, I decided that my editor was right. and the other 2% came from me not making something else as clear as it should have been. My best advice is to have a good relationship with your editor, so that when you disagree, you can talk it out. Your book will be better for it!

  5. I’ve been lucky enough to have editors who seem to understand me very well. Having said that, I’ve made some pretty big edits on my books, but they were worth it in the end.

  6. I love edits–best part of the process for me. My editor’s diagnoses are just about infallible, and I still occasionally fail to listen. When I was working on my latest book, I laughed her to scorn on one issue, then six months later found myself doing exactly what she’d suggested. That’ll teach me. (Ha!)

  7. Editing is my middle name. First I need to get my ms past the sharp, SHARP teeth of my critique group, The Cudas (short for barracudas–as in “we eat your words”)–and that may take a few rounds. Then my agent, who is the most amazingly editorial agent in the known universe (Hi Victoria!), reads it and has her questions and adjustments and yep EDITS. With Breaking Glass, I think we went through an additional mid-submission revision and resubmit request, that I think totally kicked the book into another level. THEN, it went through about three more revisions at SHP–and finally made it past the eagles eyes SHP copy editor, Rich Storrs. And now, bruised, battered and all the better for it, Breaking Glass is ready to make its entry into the world. So enjoy the ride–writing is a team sport.

  8. There’s always something you can sharpen. Every edit is worth it. It’s always been a positive experience for me. The trick is to be a pro about it, if you can. And those challenges and obstacles will make it a better book, I have no doubt.

  9. I love edits too. They make everything sound better, the plot, the dialogue and even theworld-building. I’ve been lucky to have editors that understand my vision and never have to change anything in the plot, just weeding and pruning. Oh yeah, I hate having to slice the word count though.

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