Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No More Edits!!

Well, that title isn't completely true.... no more edits, for now. Over the weekend, I finished what my editor assured me were my last edits of Nightwalker. These were the "Jocelynn, you must read the whole book again, but you can't change anything but the occasional typo, no matter how much you think this new wording with help give greater depth to your character" edits. Yeah, those kind of edits.

Many publishing houses are different in their revisions, but for my editor, who is with Eos, which is an imprint of HarperCollins, there were a few rounds. There is first the "final draft," which is such a funny name because it is no where near the "final" draft of the book. After that, I get the edit letter (known by many names as well), which lists all the things that need to be changed, and if I'm lucky, a few things I did right in the book. The letter can encompass everything from world development, plot, subplots, character development, and everything in between. After all the changes are made (and your editor agrees that it is a pretty damn good book), your book has now been officially Delivered and Accepted by the publisher. (Feel free to have a mini-celebration at this point, you've earned it.)

From there, it goes to a copyeditor, who looks at grammar, punctuation, double checks facts, and makes sure you are consistent throughout the whole book (ie. Mira's eyes remain shades of purple throughout the whole book and don't randomly change to brown on page 246). I then receive Copyedits, where I approve the changes, answer any questions, and fix strange bits. This is my LAST chance to make large changes -- such as paragraphs or even add a page or two. However, this is past the point for adding and deleting whole chapters.

The last stage for me is what my editor calls the "First Pass" edits, which are what I just completed. It is very painful to know that you can't change anything at this point. I know the book is great, but it is at this point that the obsessive-compulsive perfectionist comes out and wants to play and she just can't. (Once completed, have another mini-celebration, your nerves have earned it.)

From here, I believe the book will go through at least one more round of edits within the publisher before going to print.

So, now that the edits are done, I am once again up to my eyeballs in Book 2. I am making some very good progress and I'm currently working on a chapter that I'm not entirely sure where it is going to go, which is a little odd for me. I am very careful to outline my books completely before I write, but this chapter was not in the original plan. I've decided to just let this chapter go where it will for the first draft. It is between two characters who have not seen each other for a little while, and some interesting things have happened since the last meeting. I'm kind of curious as to where these two will take the scene. I'm also curious as to what information each will reveal and what he/she will keep silent about. (Yes, this sounds strange, but my characters have minds of their own.)

When I complete the final draft, I will heavily edit this chapter, making sure that it doesn't ramble and is tight as the others. But for now, I am content to let my characters run.


daydream said...

Keep up the good on your novel. I have the same problem with my character my MC wants to be a really mouthy, even though I wanna make her shy. damn it, she just won't stop being powerful. Grr.

Oh and thanks for the insight of how editing occurred. It seems frightening to a point.

Freedom Star said...

:) I like to think that I have a firm grip on my characters. The plot changes in ways that I don't expect, and then the characters change and adapt and stuff accordingly.

I've never really heard the process about editing to printing. It's kinda cool to get these little bits of information about how the books we like end up on the shelves.