Time to Let Go





Hurray, my rewrites are complete! It has been a struggle but my crime novel is finally back with my editor for a final check.

The process of editing is extraordinary, and for me has been an overwhelming journey, but most rewarding and enjoyable at the same time. Choosing the right editor to work with is so important – there is a lot of trust involved. After all, an editor’s job is to analyse the work, pull it apart and offer the author advice on how to make the story stronger and more exciting for the reader. I am so grateful for the expert help from my editor, Kate, who has guided me through this process, and as a result I am much better at my craft. And to top it all, my story is now stronger and I am proud of it (hopefully, Kate will think so too). Here are a few things I experienced and lessons learned:
  • Take time to absorb the advice given and don’t become disillusioned at the size of the task – it took me three months to get started. The fear gremlin set it!
  • Accept and follow advice from someone who is more experienced and knows the market. It will mean cutting chapters, enhancing characters and writing new material to develop the story.
  • Don’t rush the process – work through it step-by-step (thanks to my friends at IWSG for this advice).
  • Ask the editor questions, if things are unclear or you are unsure about the direction you’re heading – my story changed a lot.
  • Be confident and know that you can do it!
I have mixed emotions now the journey for this novel is almost complete, but I have not allowed myself to dwell on it and have started writing my next novel – but don’t be fooled: writing is another form of procrastination, dragging me away from the daunting task of marketing!

What is the most poignant lesson you’ve learned from the editing process?

I hope you are all well, and I wish you a super week.

Comments

  1. Well done on letting your crime novel go, Nicola - all the very best with seeing it in publication when ready. I love the editing process as it means the novel reached the end! I have no problem starting projects but finishing them is a slog and brings out my procrastination! Lovely, smart new blog.

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    1. Thank you very much, Rosemary. I think we writers use the word procrastination far too much :) Wishing you a lovely week.

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  2. So happy for you, Nicola. My comment didn't take the first time so here I go again. I'm so glad you found an editor you can trust. That is so key. I always learn from the editing process, too, and my writing always improves as well. Good luck bringing this baby into the world.

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    1. Thank you, Karen and congratulations on publishing your baby too:)

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  3. That's awesome! Never rush. Glad Kate helped you bring that manuscript to the next level.

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  4. Congratulations! It's not an easy task to splay your heart out for other to slice and dice (he smiles)

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    1. Love the slicing and dicing (returned smile). Looking forward to reading SEEker 5. Thanks for popping by, Mac.

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  5. The right editor can work wonders. It does have to be good relationship and with no resentment.

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    1. Life's too short for resentment - and it gets you nowhere :) Thanks for stopping by, Diane. Hope all is well with you.

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  6. How exciting! Rewrites are both challenging and rewarding.

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    1. Yes they are. But I forgot to mention the copious amounts of chocolate consumed. Hmm. Guess what I'll be doing for the next few months? :)

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  7. Well, the best form of marketing is writing another book, so don't think of writing as a form of procrastination. :)

    You've touched on some great advice about editing, particularly taking time to absorb what the editor said as well as taking things step-by-step. I think the most important thing I've learned throughout the editing process is that nothing is set in stone (i.e. don't get too attached).

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    1. Thanks for being an inspiration to me throughout this process, Cherie. Reading your posts helped a lot! To be honest, as soon as I sent off my manuscript, I was writing the opening chapter of the next in the series. I wasn't ready to leave my characters so I'm throwing another problem in front of them :) So excited!

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  8. I'm glad the editing went well. It's great to get other eyes on a project to steer you in a direction you might not have considered.

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    1. It was an eye-opener, but once I got my head round it, I thoroughly enjoyed the work. Hope all is well with you, Liz and the kids are keeping you 'on your toes'. :)

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  9. Huge congratulations, Nicola, and I wish you lots of success with the next stages. It's brilliant that you've started writing the next one as well. I think your editing advice is perfect. I find that taking lots of time over the editing process, while it can be laborious at times, is the best way to be completely satisfied with the end result. It's definitely not a process to rush and I quite enjoy it - most of the time - especially once I accept that all the hard-to-lose parts which seemed so worthy of inclusion at the start, are actually holding it back. Once they're gone, I feel I've taken a real step forward. Good luck! xxx

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    1. Thank you very much, Joanna. I hope life is being kind to you.

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  10. Isn't it wonderful when a story finally comes together? I'm almost there with this one ...

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    1. It's a great feeling! Good luck with your latest :)

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  11. Congrats! And yes, the pointers you mentioned are all important, but I believe taking time to get everything right is key. As to the marketing, start early so you don't feel overwhelmed when your book is out.

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  12. Hope everything goes well and you see it in print soon!

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    1. Fingers crossed :) Thanks for popping by.

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  13. Hi Nicola - so glad you've 'done' and are on to the next project - sounds exciting ... yet seems you've learnt lots, as you took your time and worked through ideas ... good luck for the future ... so pleased for you - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you very much, Hilary. Means a lot. Looking forward to checking in with you throughout April :)

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  14. Congratulations, Nicola. Thanks for the advice.

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    1. Thanks, Keith! I hope life is being kind.

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  15. Writing novels is much like raising children: you do your best and then let them out to fend for themselves in the cold world, hoping you prepared them adequately for the task. :-) I am proud of you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Roland. Means a lot.

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  16. So glad you have finished the rewrites and hope your editor will say it's good to go now. I understand it's like allowing your children to leave the nest. Too much like trouble for me, I always wanted to write, but having read comments from so many authors these days, I am so glad I never did LOL.

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    1. Thank you, Jo. I love your blog and trying out your tasty recipes - so you do write: and very well too :)

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  17. I agree with all of that. I was very picky finding an editor I thought understood my goals.

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    1. I was very lucky to have found Kate. So happy to work with her.

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  18. Congratulations! I can't wait to read this one!
    Your advice is spot on! Sometimes it's hard to hear your masterpiece isn't the work of art you thought it'd be. But in the end the editor is usually right! Especially if they are the editor that's right for you. Just like any relationship, personalities have to fit. I recently went through the same thing with my latest and the editor I'm working with now is magnificent! Hear that, Susan! :)

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    1. Thank you, Yolanda. Congrats to you and Susan. Glad you work well together. Looking forward to reading your A to Z posts :)

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  19. I agree with you on the reward/work of rewrites. Congratulations on your progress. And thank you for the great advice. I like your new banner, too. ~hugs~

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    1. Thank you, Darla. Have a lovely week!

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  20. I know all about that little fear gremlin. It can seem overwhelming when first looking at the edits. Yet after a cookie or two, I take it one step at a time.

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    1. I think next time, I'll have to nibble on carrots or something. Too much chocolate was consumed :) Thanks for popping by, Christine.

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  21. I have learned to enjoy the editing process and trust the editors, but I've also learned to question them at times. Something I used to never do. Glad you got through it.

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    1. First time out, I just followed the advice. Nothing really stood out to question this time round. But no doubt as I become more experienced, I'll have the confidence to questions and discuss. :) Thanks for popping over, Susan.

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  22. Great news, Nicola! And you've posted some excellent advice, especially the one about not rushing.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! Lovely to see you. I hope life is being kind.

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  23. Good for you! Editing can be a big job. Your tips are excellent.

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  24. Hi Nicola
    I'm new to your blog and found it via Maria's blog, where you left a comment. I think the most helpful tip I got from an editor was when I first started writing. That was, protagonists and heroes need flaws to make them real. I've given mind small flaws ever since and I've been commended on how believable my characters are.
    Congratulations on finishing one book and getting straight on to the second.
    Ange x

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    1. Thank you, Angela. Lovely to 'meet' you :) To be honest, I got straight into the next one for several reasons - those of which I'll share in my next blog post. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  25. Hello Nicola! Thanks for popping by my blog. I know I've been remiss, but I've been writing like crazy so I can get to the editor stage, LOL! So glad you're working through the rewrites with confidence now. A good editor can make a story sing. I wish you all the best and look forward to updates. And I don't think it's ever a bad idea to begin writing something else, after all, that's what we love to do foremost!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Denise. So pleased you are writing like crazy. I love those times, when a deadline is looming. Enjoy the ride! Take good care.

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  26. Wow, what an accomplishment! Congratulations! It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone in sometimes procrastinating when I'm stressed.

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    1. Thank you Theresa, and congratulations on your new book. Wishing you every success.

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  27. Well done on getting it done!
    I can identify with the fear demon. I need to make some massive changes, and I'm trying to summon up the courage to attack it. I reckon it's been a bit more than three months since I last properly worked on my novel.

    Good luck with the marketing, that's a completely different can of worms.
    It's worth listening to Joanna Penn's podcasts if you don't already - she's brilliant at marketing.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Maria. I hope all is well with you. Good luck with your changes. You can do it!

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  28. I agree to that - Don’t rush – work through it step-by-step

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    1. Thanks for popping over to comment. Lovely to 'see' you.

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  29. I would love the chance to work with an editor on one of my novels.

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    1. Your chance will come, Tamara. It will happen. Have a lovely week.

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  30. Congrats Nicola. Glad to see you moving forward on your writing journey.

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  31. Congrats! That's one step closer to a finished product. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. Thanks, Nick. Hope you are well.

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  32. Well done, Nicola!
    Getting ready to let your 'baby' out into the big, wide world is scary, I'm sure.
    Sounds like you're moving forward in the right direction. Thanks for the tips.

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  33. Congratulations! I've been debating whether to hire an external editor. How did you find yours?

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  34. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. Just wanted to say, I'm happy for you, Nicola

    All the best Jan

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  36. I definitely learned to take editing one step at a time. It's just much less daunting that way. Best of luck with the marketing and writing. :-)

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