In the Margins, pt 3

I started writing a bit about my editing process for the current Work In Progress.  If you’re interested in reading the previous posts, click here for pt 1 and here for pt 2.  I’m still working on the WIP.  My editor got the revision two weeks ago and last week emailed me several questions she needed answered or issues I needed to address before she finished with the line edit. 

I thought two things when I read her email.  The first was how pleased I am to have connected with an editor who understands my manuscript (i.e., ms) and who can look at the ms for what I’m hoping for without editing it into something else.  That’s a rare find from what I can gather in the collective reflection of wannabe published writers on the internet.  It’s hard to capture someone else’s vision for a project when your role is to critique it, even though critiquing work requires that you grasp it. 

The second thought was how long, windy, and difficult the path to publishing can be.  I am gladdened to read of shorter routes for the author who wrote that first story, met an agent at some function completely unrelated to publishing, talked about that one exceptional piece while spinning a chocolate martini in one hand, and left the evening with the agent’s invitation to submit pages, only to have that agent represent them to a book deal with a great publisher.  That’s the process for most writers.  And inside that process is the gritty nitty work of fighting words, punching away at an idea, asking characters the same questions when they have yet to answer, focusing on the plot, sharpening that focus when it’s become unclear, and on and on.

My story is stronger.  I feel like it is.  My editor says so as well.  I believe us both.  And I’m looking forward to last edits, which really aren’t the last edits since the agent in my future will have a revision letter waiting for me and since a publishing in-house editor will also offer edits for the ms when it’s purchased. 

So, I’m getting used to editing.  I’m getting used to editing while thinking about that other project, to say nothing of that other life of mine which includes church-leading, teaching, husbanding, and parenting.  I’m editing while trying to balance garbage removal, toy collection, sermon preparation, and diaper changing.  Perhaps that’s the summary of the whole thing.

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