Earlier today, I sent off the full “Abby” manuscript to my editor. This is the first of a possible 3-4 editing cycles.
Being a complete newbee at this, I can only ask around, totally fret, and/or speculate as to what this process will be like.
In response to my (apparent) totally-fretting, my crit partner sent me this article, by Erin Bowman. . . giving me a little heads-up as to what might be in store for me and my sweet, little book.
STEP ONE — Revision #1
This is typically the most robust revision round and it begins as soon as the author receives the editor’s revision letter… The letter will outline all sorts of required changes, most of which are wide and sweeping. Chapters will need to be completely rewritten or heavily revised. Plot holes will need filling, characters will need arcing, worlds will need building. This initial revision is a complicated process because as you pull one thread and rewrite it, a dozen more always seem to unravel. Timelines can vary by project, but an author usually has anywhere from 3 – 8 weeks to complete this first revision.
Tips for getting through this round:
- Brainstorm with your editor. (I jotted a ton of notes right into my revision letter and sent them back to Editor Erica as a word doc. She then left me additional notes and thoughts in the comments and track changes). When changes are large, it’s always best to hash things out before you start hacking the MS to bits.
- Deep breathes. Sometimes you’ll feel absolutely stuck/lost/hopeless but you will find the answer. Step away. Come back later. You’ll get there.
- Just start. It’s hard when there’s so much to tackle, but pick something small and run with it. Once you start pulling plot threads, you’ll have to keep fixing them until all of a sudden, voila! Revision complete!
Holy gulp, batman.
Sounds rather terrifying, no?
And yet–after a few deep breaths and a cupcake or two–strangely exciting!