Today we're going to delve into what my editing process has looked like with Red as Blood.
I received the line edits and revision requests at the end of April, and have been trying to work on them a little each day.
The team at Rooglewood Press sent me seven big things that they wanted worked on in the story, along with leaving notes and comments in the document regarding specific lines and scenes.
I'll say, its been really exciting getting to work with real editors, and have that input, but also pretty terrifying.
I actually cried after I read through the notes and revisions the first time. Not because I didn't like any of their requests, or that they were harsh, because they were very helpful and encouraging. But it just seemed so overwhelming. There were comments everywhere. So many things I needed to fix and smooth out and plot better.
That realization was really depressing. I shouldn't have been surprised. That has been the consistent problem with all of my stories since I started writing years ago.
I believe I was actually told that I blocked everyone out on my own emotions as a teenager, so apparently its a pattern.
You would think I would have figured out how to fix a problem that I've had for at least ten years, but no. It's still very much a problem, and one of the main things I'm struggling to incorporate into the story.
Another big issue, that also kind of ties into the emotion problem, is that the editors apparently picked up on a romance in the story that I didn't purposely write, and are now wanting more development on it. Now, I am thrilled that they ship my characters together. But I am totally floundering at trying to deepen a relationship that I didn't know existed. I'm trying.
So, how does one go about editing a story exactly?
Well, the first week I didn't have my computer so I dashed over to my parents' house and opened and saved all the files so that I could print them off. Once I had the story printed I went through with a blue pen and added in notes on all the comments the editors left. Then with a red pen I went through and wrote down my reactions and thoughts on how to fix those problems.
My computer is back now, thank goodness, so that has made things much easier, and I've been able to go through the document on the computer and add in those things I wrote on paper. Some of it has been simple, easy fixes, just adding a line or two. Other times I've had to add whole scenes, and cut out others.
One of the changes requested was to change the story world/time setting. I'll give you a guess at what period its going to be set in now.
It's all for the best though. When I'm not banging my head against the computer I'm really enjoying where this story is heading, and liking the characters even more than I originally did.
The past several days I was horrifically stuck and complaining about my lack of inspiration, and Jarod said: "Why don't you pray about it before you start every day?"
That was a breakthrough moment, and I have no idea why I didn't think of that. He's such a great hubby. I don't know what I'd do without him. (Certainly wouldn't get this story edited, that's for sure.)
Yesterday was a great day, and I was able to knock out a huge chunk while Henry was taking a nap. I'm now halfway through chapter six, out of eight total. They're not perfect yet. I've mainly been going through and fixing the big things that I'm confident in, and as the characters and world are developing more I'm jotting down notes of little things that come to me later, and I'll go back afterward and fill those in.
So despite the craziness, it's actually going pretty well, and I'm super glad I get the opportunity to work with editors and deadlines, and all this "real" writer stuff.