Revisions Cave

“Efficiency is doing better what is already being done.”

Yes, folks, the revisions cave is real!

cave entrance

I’ve been in deep edits for my upcoming mystery novel the past couple of weeks because I received an editorial letter.

In the author-editor-agent panel I attended at the California Crime Writers Conference, Leslie Karst mentioned that she’s received an editor letter of eight to ten pages. Thankfully, my own spanned only two pages (single-spaced, though).

Her advice was to make sure to trust your editor. That’s exactly what I did! I tried to clarify things in my manuscript that were murky and took all my editor’s suggestions to heart.

In the process of going through developmental edits, I’ve figured out three helpful ideas:

  1. Be a ghost on social media.
    It’s too hard to try and wear all the different writing hats. This is the time to hunker down and dig into your manuscript.

  2. Revise in chunks.
    I couldn’t handle editing the entire manuscript in one stroke. My brain kept shutting down. My neighbor bakes when stressed, but at certain points, I knew my mind was too tired to even comprehend step-by-step instructions.

  3. Aim for multiple rounds.
    I went through the manuscript using three passes. The first time, I did all the edits within the manuscript (which included rewriting an entire scene). Then I looked at the overall issues; these were organized in the letter under different categories. Lastly, I read through the changed sections and polished them to ensure an even flow.

If you’re deep in the trenches, there is light out there somewhere! But for now, happy spelunking!

inside a cave
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  1. Love this, Jennifer! I left the revision caves a while ago but will soon return for another manuscript :)
    Good luck to you and do not get stuck in those caves for too long!

  2. Good advice! I want an editorial letter from an agent :) Someday.

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