I am currently entering edits for one of our authors…her new book is an upcoming release that should be out in the next couple of months. It took me quite some time to do the actual edit, but now I am at the stage where I get to flip through the printed pages (I print to edit, it just works better for me) and enter the edits into the electronic document. Inevitably I will find more edits as I go along, but that’s okay. It’s like my backup plan. Anyway, technically I’ve completed edits on this book, while my own book waits in the wings for its edit.
I both love and loathe editing books. (Get that from the blog’s title?) When it comes to other people’s books, there is some concern that I have to keep in mind the author’s voice, while still keeping to the company’s style guides. I don’t want to make everything that comes through Draumr sound the same, because authors all have their own unique way of writing and telling a story. But on the other hand, Draumr does have guidelines as to how things are formatted and edited. It’s a fine line to walk, and it actually takes more effort than you might think. Even worse, I have to keep my own voice separated from all of it, since I’m also an author, and I also publish with Draumr. So it’s more than merely looking for typos and punctuation issues, POV and holes in the storyline…there is some finesse required. It’s a challenge, and so very different from both writing my books and editing my own WIPs. But something I love about editing someone else’s book? The opportunity to be part of an amazing story. It’s a small part, sure, but still, I get to be involved. I get to see the book progress from its original draft state and all the way through to the final published version. And I love the challenge of finding holes, finding POV problems, finding small nuances that help the story be better. I love that.
The issues of editing my own WIPs are similar, but it becomes much more personal for me. I try not to be blinded by the fact that I actually wrote the book. I try to look at my books as if they belong to someone else. You’d think I would try to be more brutal than when I’m editing for someone else, but the truth is I have to make sure I’m not overly brutal. I believe authors are their own worst critics, and I try to find that middle ground between brutal and not too brutal. I still look for all those holes, those POV problems, punctuations, typos, and so forth…but I have to remember that people read my books because they like them. I don’t have to cut and chop and hack and scream at my own work. It has value, it’s good. Well, sometimes it is. HA. I try to be honest with myself and look at my work as if it were someone else’s, but it can be hard to see it through fresh eyes. I am lucky enough in that I do have a critique partner who assists me with the story itself, so I do have another set of eyes. On the other hand, I love to edit my own books because it means I’m getting closer and closer to releasing it to the public. Closer and closer to closing out another chapter (no pun intended) and moving on to a new one. Getting closer and closer to sharing my characters with the people who read my books. And when it’s a series–like I’m working on now–it means I’m one step further along in the progression of the series, and in the growth of all the characters who recur.
I have to get back to editing the book of the moment. The Lunch Club by Sandra Z. Bruney. I have set my own WIP aside (and carted it off to my CP) so I am rested and ready to read it fresh.
Love and loathing really are two sides of the same coin. They are emotions that are both full of passion and intense feeling…you cannot be removed or apathetic from them. It certainly makes for interesting working!