Publication Progress Report!

(I’m resisting the engineer in me to turn this blog post title into an acronym . . . )

Now that I’ve come up for air from editing my novel, Apricots and Wolfsbane, it’s time for an overdue blog post and many of you have been asking for a publication status.

Today I’m ending a “developmental edit” round with my editor and am ecstatic with the result.

First, I owe a shout out to my editor, Myra Fiacco. Her editing suggestions were one of the reasons I signed with Filles Vertes Publishing from the offers I had. It was important for me to find a publisher who shared my vision and that I would creatively work well with.

Myra has pushed me and the novel, challenging me to add layers of complexity and additional plot twists. I also appreciate the little bits of positivity within her edits. Hearing your editor call a sentence “literary gold” surely puts a smile on any author’s face!

What is a developmental edit? This type of review is about the big picture: plot structure, character development, motivation, theme, pacing, etc. At this point I’ve read my book well over ten times. I know every little plot detail and am drowning within the work. An objective pair of eyes is required to pull an author’s head up, provide structural critique and ensure the message the author intends is coming across.

And yes, I am enjoying the process.

Every time an experienced editor combs through my writing, I learn about my weaknesses and it makes me a better writer. Through various forums and social media, I hear a lot of authors expressing nervousness and defensiveness towards edits. I get it. Writing is an intimate product, part of the author’s soul. But I’ve learned over years of freelance journalism, edits are not to point out what’s wrong with a manuscript, they’re not personal insults, they shine light onto opportunities for improvement. An editor is a critical partner.

The only thing I haven’t enjoyed is the pressure of an editorial deadline.

I do not like writing to deadlines.

I never have.

I remember those nights watching the clock tick down when I was a freelance sports reporter in high school for my city newspaper, struggling to fill 15 column inches due two hours after a varsity baseball game. I’ve come a long way since then, and learned to stay relaxed under time pressure – but I don’t have to like it.

So what’s next? The plan is to dive into line edits, which focus on word choice, sentence and paragraph structure, voice and style. Shortly after, the manuscript will go to a copy editor to verify grammar and punctuation and then the text will be done! (Eek!)

Of course text alone does not make a book. I’m looking forward to cover design, writing cover copy and developing marketing plans over the summer, working towards fall publication.

Thank you to everyone who is following along with my progress and cheering me on. Stay tuned for another PPR!

(Yes, I caved.)

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