Monday, October 5, 2015

The Post In Which I Do The I've Finished My Line Edits Happy Dance

Last night was huge. After weeks of revising MY KIND OF CRAZY, I reached the final few chapters and that's when I blasted the AC/DC and ABBA and Alanis Morrissette and took this bad boy to the finish line. As I reached the final sentence, it was one of the most cathartic experiences of my entire life.

I cannot stress the importance of a great editor. I happen to have an amazing one. She pushed me further at every opportunity and knew these characters as well as I did, if not sometimes better. Through our experience of working on this book, she gave me a master class in editing. Until you are deep in the thick of the text, you don't realize how many things you miss on the surface that can make all the difference in a tight story with scenes that pack an emotional punch. Overuse of filler words, flowery language, repetition of mannerisms and information: these are the things that can take a story from good to great. And as much as we can think we know our stories, that second set of eyes is invaluable. And now, as I go back to working on my next book, I benefit from all that I have learned and will hopefully have a stronger richer manuscript from the get-go. Or at least, here's hoping.

My editor and I traded notes and chapters back and forth for weeks. Each time the next bunch of chapters arrived, it was admittedly overwhelming to see the hundreds of comments in the sidebar. It seemed impossible that I could ever address all her points and make all these fixes. But she also wrote little love notes in the margins, whether it be in reference to characters, scenes, or lines of dialogue, and they were everything to me. They kept me going, snapping things back into perspective that she wasn't just telling me all the things that were wrong, but also what was really hitting the mark, and that we were working together as a team to make this story even better. Hopefully, the end result we have created together is something readers will love and it will touch their hearts. It's hard to imagine that people will walk into a bookstore in just a few months and see my book on a shelf and choose to buy it. People I don't know will be reading it. Some will love it, some will hate it, and frankly, that's a little terrifying. But at the end of the day, this book is the story of my heart, and I'm beyond grateful that it will have a chance to live in the world.

Next step is copy edits, where all the fact-checking, spelling and grammar are cleaned up. Thank goodness for copy editors, because they make writers look like they can English with ease. And then . . . ARCs. An ARC is an advanced reading copy, which looks like an actual book, though it is not proofread. It will go to bloggers, reviewers, be used in giveaways, and sent to other incredible writers who are kind enough to take the time to read and blurb my book. It's where the word of mouth begins. The fantastic team of designers at Sourcebooks is hard at work designing the perfect cover, and I look forwrad to being able to share that in a few weeks as well.

I cannot wait to hold this book in my hands and share it with all of you. It's been quite a journey, and I am so grateful for all my incredible friends, family, and of course, my amazing agent Leigh Feldman and superheroine editor Annette Pollert-Morgan, who have been there cheerleading every single step. I raise my Starbucks to each of you and say thank you from the bottom of my heart.