Editing. Edits. Edit.
Drum roll please…
My first pass edits have arrived.
I will not be ashamed to admit that I was nervous. It was time to roll up my sleeves and get dirty. It was time to take my baby apart and put her back together again. Who knew writing would be such gory work? I feel like Frankenstein half the time when it comes to cannibalizing manuscripts and putting scenes together screaming “It’s alive!” at the very end.
I’m not new to editorial notes. When I used to have an agent, he’d send me notes on how to improve my manuscript before we submit. This time around isn’t any different, but it feels more real now. Before, I was just preparing Taste for submission. Now, I’m preparing her for publication. Adds more pressure. But, I say, bring on the pressure! I work my best with it looming above me like an anvil about to fall.
So, here goes my process. I print out the notes, read them through, and take the day to ruminate on ideas. Then I read the notes through again and create a plan of attack.
I start out nervous because I don’t know what the notes will contain, but once I’m finish reading and ideas start piling in, I get excited. Having notes, no matter how daunting they may seem, actually helps you focus on what you need to do. There’s nothing harder than editing blind, and I guess that’s how we all start when our babies haven’t found homes yet.
Now, as I’m writing this post, I feel exhilarated. I can’t wait for tomorrow so I can get cracking.
Why not start today? You might ask.
Well, the answer to that is simple. If I start today, I won’t stop until I’m dead. In short, if I don’t hold myself back, I’ll get obsessive, and when that happens, I lose chunks of time I can’t recall no matter how hard I try. Happened to me when I was writing my very first novel in high school. I didn’t leave my room for a week. I barely remember getting any sleep. Worse, I produced crap work because of it. Delaying gratification by starting tomorrow gives me a form of discipline over myself. It gives me comfort to know I can stop myself from pushing too hard or else I lose sight of the bigger picture.