Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It Takes A Village

When I was younger I read two to three romance novels a week. Before I started to read a romance novel I would check out the dedication page. I was always surprised at how many people an author would thank. Sure, you had the occasional one-liner - this is for my mom - but I didn't see that very often. Instead the author thanked their editor, their friends, their cover artist, their baby daddy. Good Lord. Well, now that I'm on the flip side, I understand.

After I produce what I think is a very clean, brilliant manuscript, I'm surprised at what I don't catch. Simple mistakes that would scream at me from another author's book, but passes me by in my own. I think one of my favorite mistakes - and it will always remain so - is when I had my heroine jump onto an esophagus. Yes...you read that right. An esophagus. Hmmm...my editor says. Don't you mean sarcophagus? (Yeah, they were in a cemetery, and no, the heroine didn't jump on the hero's throat.) There's also times a plot issue will arise, and how I miss things like that is beyond me. It's so evident to others, but after engrossing myself in the story for so long I tend to miss these nagging little problems until someone else points them out.

I send my books to my friends for a 'fresh pair of eyes.' I send my books to my mom, who always finds a few problems here and there. Then my book goes to my editor, and we make a few passes over it. Then it goes to a line editor, who also has a fresh eye to catch things. The cover artist gives me a great cover, so she has a hand in the process as well. You never want to forget to thank a person who has had a hand in producing the book. Yes, there's always the dedication that focuses on one person who has stood out from the rest - but I always thank my editor, because she alone really digs in and makes the book shine.

Editing can be a daunting process, and it differs from book to book. I've had some easy edits, and some WTF-were-you-thinking-when-you-wrote-this edits. But when the edits are finished, the result is better than...okay, maybe not, but you get my point. Some authors love the editing process and others not so much. My favorite part of the process is starting a book, wondering where it will take me while I get to know my characters. The editing process can seem like...I don't know...work? lol You have to be on your game while editing so you don't miss anything - which you inevitably do. That's why we have editors.

Suffice to say I'm nearly finished with my edits on Heaven Sent. The editing process is humbling, exciting, and at times, tiring. But when you have the finished product in your hand it's exhilarating...and it propels you into your next book.

Heaven Sent will be released sometime this summer. When I get the cover and release date I'll spread the word...trust me. Promo...now that's a whole other blog entry.

No comments:

Post a Comment