I received my manuscript back from my editor (“J”). Since I’ve prepared myself for the worst at every turn, I was thrilled that the overall response was very positive.
And now that little kernel of hope is germinating.
After about ten days of revising, I’ve made or considered every technical change that J proposed. You know your editor is good when, without hesitation, you make their changes ninety-five plus percent of the time. Where I think J was most helpful was with word choice and clarification of plot points. First: word choice. Can’t really put this any other way except “she has good words in her head.” Ha ha. Virtually any time she suggested a word change, I was like “yep, that’ll do.” J’s assistance on word choice alone was worth the price of admission. Second, J’s editing was invaluable in highlighting points that were unclear from the text. This is something I’m sure lots of writers hear from editors and beta-readers, as there are surely things we leave out unintentionally because they are already known to us.
J proposed a few minor substantive revisions/additions that I am going to make over the next week or so (they are minor, indeed). I need to flesh out some characters a little more so that they are easily identified throughout the story (there are many of them, so this is important).
(At a later point, I’m going to discuss J’s editing in greater detail. I might even post some of her notes in the future. This is my first foray into this process, but I’ve realized that having a professional editor is essential).
So I’m close. Close to what? Well, perhaps I’m pushing the envelope some, but I’d like to begin querying agents by the end of 2016/start of 2017. Between now and then, I need to get the revised manuscript to beta-readers (I have around 10 of them), incorporate their feedback, perfect my query letter and finalize my agent list for the querying process.
If my query letters go out in January, it will have been exactly two years since I wrote the first words of this story that I love.
cliff’s notes: editor good