Editing Woes

This week I’m deep into editing. I received my first pass back from my wonderful editor on my second book last Friday. She picked up on something that will mean a lot of changes before it goes back to her. To add to my discomfort, I messed up when counting the calendar weeks between edits and it is due back to her at the end of this week. Yikes!!

Something in the story was not sitting right with me, but I read it over and put my feelings down to jitters of sending the story to the editor and let it go. Lesson learned always listen to your gut.

I panicked all day Saturday. I just couldn’t see how I was going to make changes. The whole story would have to be tossed and I’d have to start over again. How could I keep the gist of the story and remove all I had to? How was I ever going to do it in one week?

Sunday I was sitting at a restaurant waiting for friends to arrive when the answer hit me. I dug my notebook out of my purse and started writing like mad, capturing all the highlights of how I could move things around and save the story. By the time everyone arrived I had lots of wonderful ideas written down. The heavy stress load was lifted off my shoulders.

Fast forward to yesterday morning when I sat at my computer to start fixing the manuscript. In just a couple of hours I had wiped out over 4000 words, and I wasn’t through yet. Considering I write short novellas, that was a big chunk of my story!! Panic set in for about half an hour. I read over my notes from Sunday and realized there will be more than enough words there once I expand on the ideas. Phew!! Crisis averted. For now.

I continued to cut and add all day yesterday and last evening. Then I realized the task would be larger than I thought. I may be able to finish a first draft by Friday but there is no way it will be polished enough to send back to the editor. I was left with no choice but to ask for forgiveness and an extension, to which the editor graciously agreed.

My biggest pet peeve is not sticking to a promise. To me, a deadline is a promise. I get even angrier when I’ve set the deadline and then can’t follow through. So after a half hour of beating myself up, I shook it off and started back at my story. I feel much better now and the story is flowing.

Lesson(s) learned.

About Linda O'Toole

Women's Fiction Author
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