About ten days ago, I received first contact from my editor (saying that feels absurdly nice: I have an Editor!), who introduced herself and let me know that she was already reading the novel–and enjoying it too. Though I imagine few working relationships begin with the words “Nice to meet you, you’re a talentless hack”, I have no reason to doubt her words, especially since she got in touch again to say she’d finished, she still liked it, and that it was time to begin…
The Editing Process.
That email was the first tick of the countdown: if all goes well, just over two months from now The Glass Sealing will be published (Andrew does a little dance). However, before then I will have to do a whole bunch of things I’ve never had to previously–or rather, things no-one else has demanded I do. Little dances possibly included, I’ve no idea–but let’s hope not, as the only thing less well-coordinated than me on a dance floor is my disco suit (this being Steampunk, probably what I ought to say is my formal evening wear. Doesn’t matter, I don’t have anything good there either).
My partner for the coming waltz (she’ll be leading) is Damien Angelica Walters, a genre author in her own right, with the horror novel Ink and a variety of short fiction sales to her name. A project development editor at Musa Publishing, creators of this shared world project, she has also been given responsibility for editing all the novels in the Darkside Codex to ensure continuity between the various writers contributing to the series. Sounds like a good idea, so what does that mean for me?
I’ve now received the “editor’s first edits” of my manuscript. My next job is to review them and respond with the “writer’s first edits”. Damien’s feedback ranged from the relatively trivial (typos, spelling errors and punctuation conventions that I missed or just got wrong) through the more significant (notes on theme and content that will help integrate my novel with the series as a whole) to the potentially problematic (slips in the point of view, superfluous scenes, confusing passages… damn). In this first round my responses could simply be a series of dis/agree statements so we can discuss the pros and cons of what she’s raised; however, there’s not much I can honestly contest so I’ll be modifying the text at this stage as well.
Regardless, we’ll have this back-and-forth at least twice, followed by a meticulous line edit of the final galleys to sweep for overlooked mistakes. If anything slips through that net, I’ll have to live with it… but that said, my early impression of all this has been very positive and Damien has made sure these baby steps aren’t too intimidating. Of course, there’s more to come than “just” the editing–there’s cover art to develop and finalise, promotional strategies to put into action, breakdowns to recover from–but that’s enough procrastinating for today. I’ve got some reading and writing to do: full steam ahead…
Thanks to Alexander “Steampunker” Schlesier for the image!