I’m finally coming out of the editing cave and am here to gush!
After months of revamping my YA paranormal romance novel JUDGES I can finally say with confidence that I'm done! Well, that is, until (if I get lucky) it finds an editor and then the process will most likely start all over again. But today I’m reveling in the fact that for now, my mind can rest at ease--where as the past three months (and really two years) have been dedicated to this novel.
The amount of work that went into JUDGES this time around shocked me at first, but throughout my writing career I’ve learned there is always room for improvement. And after some incredible guidance from my awesomesauce agent, we dug down and found the room. With fresh eyes and a determined heart, I dove back into editing mode and ended up chopping over 20 thousand words:
From the above gif you can tell how I felt about that. It wasn’t easy, but no one held a literary gun to my head either.
It simply needed to happen. The book didn’t need everything I had in it, but in the cutting process I discovered it did happen to need a few new scenes. And while writing and implementing these new scenes I still needed to keep the word count at the number I’d achieved after cutting so much...
So, I pushed aside the sheer overwhelmingness of the task and pulled my writer pants on. I dove head first into the book, into my characters, and I said, bring it:
But in reality my process more likely looked like this:
And yet, I worked. And pushed it out. And got happy with it.
Then the real test came. Sending it off to a whole new set of betas and critique partners.
And honestly if they had found more wrong with the MS I was going to lose it (privately, of course) because after all the edits...I just wouldn’t have known what else to do with it.
Luckily I have some of the most amazing betas and critique partners in the world. And they helped me bring home the MS to it’s now finalized and sparkly version.
I couldn’t have done it without them. Honestly. My CP’s have gone above and beyond for me and through their eyes I’ve learned so much more about myself as an author.
And for every writer reading this...if you don’t have a close group of writerly types you can trust, you need to find some! They encourage, inspire, and give you the honest criticism you need in this business. It is a crucial part of any writer’s career...we need others like us to survive. People who understand the trials of cutting scenes you love, of killing characters you would never want to part with, and getting rejected over and over again. They’re the ones who will pull you from the edge when you’re about to lose it and hit the delete button on any sentence with a ‘to be’ verb in it. I wouldn’t be as strong a writer as I am today without their help. I wouldn’t have an agent today without the guidance and help of one in particular.
And if you don't know where to look, start with your social media outlets! Twitter and Facebook are invaluable tools in this business and I've met my amazing group through these outlets. I'm as close to some of these people as if we saw each other at the office on a daily basis. And I've found that (for the most part) many writers want to help each other! Reach out and see if you'd be a good fit with each other...do a test run of just a couple pages or chapters, whatever the two of you are comfortable with, and see if your styles match up. It may take a few tries (much like the dating world) but if you keep looking you'll find a group of people that fit you and your writing needs. And gaining confidants and professional criticism can make all the difference with a novel searching for a home with an agent or editor.
So, as I sit back and take a break to revive my writing mind--to switch from editing to raw drafting again--I'd like to take this time to say THANK YOU to my team of critique partners, betas, and my amazing agent. The guidance each of you has offered me has enhanced my skills as a writer and you inspire me every day. I couldn't do any of this without you and hope all of you know how crucial a role you play in each of my works.
Now...on to the next WIP...