I’ve been asked what certain parts of my editing and revision process looks like so I’ll do my best to answer and try not to look too much like a tool:
So I’ve got this big black binder sitting open on a stool next to where I’m sitting. Inside are the 460 pages of Undercover. It works thusly – I write a first draft. No one sees the first draft and I’m always convinced it’s crap until I do the first read. Then I print it and put it in a binder and begin hand edits for revision.
Some pages are blessedly free of notes while others have stickies and hand written edits in the margins. My handwriting starts off very legible but I can tell when I look back when I’ve been at it a while. I begin to see what my repeated crimes are and attempt to purge them (overuse of a certain word or phrase – “murmured” is one, “just” or “well” often too).
Then, I take it chapter by chapter and upload it to my crit group.
They’ll find things I couldn’t see because I’m too close the material. They’ll call me out on my grammar crimes and my overlong sentences. They’ll help me make it better.
I’ll take their crit and make changes to the manuscript and then it’ll go to my agent. She’ll take a gander and will make comments and then I’ll tweak it at long last and send it to my editor.
All in all, the revision process will take about ten days. More if there are a lot of problems to be fixed.
Not very complicated or mysterious really. This part of the process is where everything shiny threatens to derail me. I start thinking about new projects. I get antsy about my schedule. I have to be really hard assed with myself.
Anyway, that’s a glimpse of my totally glamorous life. BTW, I have to hide my highlighters because my three year old likes to steal them to color with and now that my kids are reading (two of the three) I can’t use my old manuscripts as scrap paper with the older ones, at least the sex scene parts anyway.
Any other questions? I can’t promise I’ll know the answer or that I can give the answer but I’m usually pretty open…