June 15, 2012
I am readying another novel for publication: THE FACES OF LOVE. I had not looked at the manuscript for two years. To my shock and dismay, I could not believe I had overlooked so much in it. I am not interested in talking about simplistic typos or grammatical improvements; I am talking about “real” editing. And what is that, pray tell? Emotional density—writing it, placing it, and pacing it.
I wrote to my editor: I believe that by my re-reading and correcting the proofs so many times of THE PROVIDER for the printer, I escalated my writing skills.
She replied, “There is no question that revision not only makes that book better but makes the writer better. I have some clients who think that after they’ve incorporated my notes, suddenly they are ready to hit the marketplace. I’m always like, really? I wish I could be that confident about a second draft. I’m more like a 7-10 draft writer, and even then, I want notes notes notes before I go.”
Seven to ten drafts? I’m gagging. Yet, when I think about my writing process, that could be the case. I type a key paragraph. I reread the paragraph. I move along. Then I return to the paragraph. And the next day I again look at the paragraph. How many is that? And later something will bring me back to that paragraph still again. I am not yet even talking about the entire draft.
Oh that gal who said, “Editing is eternal.”