Edits, Edits, who’s got the Edits

2014-05-26 20.19.36Before I launch into my newest blog about my self-pub journey, I want to take a moment on this Memorial Day to thank the men and women who have served in the military. Your hard work and sacrifice should never be forgotten. Thank you.

Today it was eighty-four degrees and sunny (that’s 84 Fahrenheit which equals 28.8 degrees Celsius for my friends outside the US). True Nirvana for most Northeast Ohioans who spent the past winter hip deep in snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures. A winter that never really let go of us until early May. We did not have a spring this year. Many of the trees and flowers that would have bloomed for us in April are blooming now. So having a day (actually a whole weekend) of wonderful weather is a celebration that should not be taken for granted.

So what did I do over this long, beautiful, holiday weekend? Drumroll please….I edited.

Yes, I edited. Now you may remember that I regaled you in past blogs about my process of finding an editor. And then I talked about receiving my edits back. So what else can I possibly have left to edit? Well, I’m glad you asked. Writers know that editing is NEVER truly over. Because as writers we are neurotic enough to continue reviewing and reviewing and tweaking our work. But if we become too obsessed by it, we will never allow our work to see the light of day. Never let readers enjoy the stories that have keep us up for countless hours and that would truly be a shame.

Fear not, my followers, I have not fallen into this trap. In the case of Mind Sweeper, the first book in my series, I have already completed three rounds of edits with my editor. Now I am sending it off this week to a proofreader and I also have one of my writer friends lined up to give it a last read through as well. And then it will be ready for formatting and cover art. (happy dance here). Pheww, a lot of work, right?

No, this weekend was spent editing the next novel in my series. And the edits were content edits. Content edits are not the nitty-gritty line or copy edits that I spoke about previously in my blogs. Instead they are about broader issues in your books like characters or plot or flow. And here is something that is interesting about writing a series. YES the first book is massively important because if your readers don’t like it, they won’t pick up book two or three or…well you get the idea. But here is something you might not think about.

Book two has added pressure. It has to live up to book one AND also stand on its own. So M.E. (stands for ‘Madame Editor’ for those of you new to my blog) read through book two and came back with some content edits. And when I read them and then read them again (taking the emotions out of the picture the second time), I realized she was right. While the book was good, it needed some tweaks to make it stand on its own.

So over this beautiful, holiday weekend, I edited. Sitting in a lawn chair, sunglasses perched on my head, I enjoyed the weather while making my story even stronger. Some of you might think I am crazy, but for me, it was my own form of Nirvana.

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