My Editor Wants Me to Change What??

My Editor Wants Me to Change What?? Guest blogger: Richard Mabry, M.D. (@RichardMabry) I had delivered my latest manuscript to my publisher, and a few weeks later received my revision notes from the editor. I was, to put it mildly, caught off guard. The notes suggested some pretty big changes. As I read through them, I kept saying, “But that’s not what I had in mind.” I wondered why the editor wanted to rewrite my manuscript. Aren’t I the writer here? Isn’t my name on the book? I wasn’t happy. But after sitting with it a few more days… I noticed that my in-house editor, my substantive editor, and my beta reader (yes, my wife) had all made the same suggestion for the opening. Hmm. I started rewriting, and amazingly enough, it was all coming together.  By the time I’d reached...
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The Editorial Letter

The Editorial Letter We’ve discussed editing before, and it can be confusing that the word “edit” can mean so many different things. In publishing, there are three basic types of edit that a book might go through (although the lines can be blurry): The copyedit: Detailed editing including the nitty gritty of grammar, punctuation, typos, word choice, even fact-checking. The line edit: More concerned with the clear expression of your ideas; internal consistency; word choices; believable dialogue; and other mechanics of the craft. The substantive edit: Sometimes known as the content edit, the developmental edit, or the macro edit, it deals with big-picture issues of story crafting, plot, and character development. For non-fiction, it’s concerned with the clear and logical flow of your ideas, your...
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The Joy of Revisions

The Joy of Revisions Guest Blogger: Colleen Coble(Bestselling author of over 40 books) Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard you complaining about having to change your novel. I remember feeling the way you do once upon a time. But that was before I realized what a blessing it is to have another person devote such focus to my work. That was before I realized we authors are too close to our books to see them clearly. I’ve come to enjoy the revision stage, and I wanted to share some thoughts on how you might enjoy it, too. Revision letter arrives. 1. Dance! Shout out whoohoo! Do whatever it takes before you open it to have a great attitude. If you’re determined to make this a good experience, it will be much easier. Tell yourself there will be great things in there to make your book...
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The Revision Decision

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/a3c26c1752ce327bdae033fd979be940.jpg Guest Blogger: Keli Gwyn Many of us expect that one day we’ll receive edits on our manuscript from an editor at our publishing house, but the idea of getting edits from our agent can come as a shock. It brings up a lot of questions in a new writer’s mind. When I received my first-ever set of revision notes from my agent, these are the questions I asked myself. Did my agent have the right to request revisions? Technically, an agent is employed by an author. They agree to represent us, but they’re selling a product—our work. However, they put their reputation on the line along with ours each time they send out a submission. Therefore, I believe they have the right to request revisions and so I accepted this part of the process. Did I want to work with an agent who offered...
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More on Revision Letters

A few weeks ago, guest blogger Camille Eide wrote about getting a revision letter for her novel, and how much time she spent reworking the manuscript as a result. Many of you have asked variations of the following question, which came from Mike Dennis: I have to ask, if the agent had 10 pages of “suggested” changes, how could she have liked the book in the first place? What I mean is, when the agent thinks virtually everything in the book should be revised, it usually means she sees very little reason to represent it. It’s hard to imagine an agent slogging all the way through a book like that, then saying, “Yes! Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for!” Since so many people seem to wonder the same thing, let me take a shot at explaining. 1. It’s...
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The Revision Letter

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/bb20a3ef2e7b596ded94199e7d4b7b79.jpg Last week, guest blogger Camille Eide wrote about her first experience with a Revision Letter. Some of you may wonder, what exactly does that letter address? Simply put, it addresses whatever your particular book needs to make it the best it can be. But to be a little more specific, here is a rundown of SOME of the things your editor may look at. Story issues:Does the plot makes sense? Is there a strong narrative structure? (Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement… but there are numerous ways to describe dramatic structure). Is there an identifiable conflict and pressing story question? Is the reader engaged from the very first scene? Does the action flow naturally and does the pacing keep the reader turning the page? Are the setting and time period...
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What Do You Mean My Hero Isn’t Sexy Enough?

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/e22a81284081598cbbaaa9807e685c47.jpg Surviving the Editorial Letterby Camille EideI got The Call! About a year and a half ago, the agent to whom I’d submitted my manuscript called and offered representation. Meaning my first novel would soon be published, my kids could all go off to college to become rich and famous, and I could hunker down and focus on writing a dozen bestsellers. What I didn’t know was that my agent was working on a Revision Letter for my book, similar to the kind an author receives from a publishing house after the book is contracted. In my case, it was a long letter detailing what changes the manuscript needed in order to be ready to sell. We’re talking long. Like Obama’s Health Care Bill long. Okay, ten pages, single spaced. I’d heard about these revision letters and expected to get one—in...
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