Editing is a bitch

Wow. Little did I know, huh?

I guess that’s the thing about writing your first book – you have no experience in which to base a solid, reasonable expectation. I was definitely deluded in thinking that once it was written, I was done, like “Ta da! Here it is world!”

Um no. Not like that at all.

I didn’t really gather my first clue until I got on the phone with Meredith Cole. Meredith, a published author, was also my writing teacher. I was about halfway through my book when I joined her class and so when I finally finished sometime after the class ended, I thought I’d get back in touch with her to let her know that her time wasn’t completely wasted on me.

Plus, I really wanted her to hook me up with a professional editor so I could get this puppy out the door for query.

Yeah, as if. Like it could be that simple. After an hour and a half phone conversation I realized very quickly how ill-prepared I was for querying. I mean I wasn’t even close.

The conversation went like this –

Shawnee: Hey Meredith. I finished. (Yay me!)
Meredith: Congratulations.
Shawnee: Yeah so anyhow, I need to find a professional editor.
Meredith: Have you gotten anyone to read it yet?
Shawnee: Um, no. So anyhow, this professional editor . . .
Meredith (in the voice of Obi Wan): Patience.

And then Meredith spent the next hour enlightening me on the finer points of editing and what I needed to do. Yes, it was great that I had already done two revisions but a 124,000 words was alot even for my sci fi/fantasy genre and that I needed to shave 10,000-20,000 words off. Oh and I definitely needed to have at least three other people read it and then get them to answers questions and then edit again. Oh yeah, what about the synopsis, all that formatting, and the rest of the hoopla? Had I started that yet?

Um, no. So anyhow on that editor business . . .

Yeah, not there yet. That’s the upshot. Like the Karate Kid, I’m still waxing on and waxing off. I’ve got a while before I get to the crane pose.