Edi-t-Phobia

Hey gang! Just got back from a much needed beach vacation. Basically, I have sand in my unmentionables, eyestrain from reading in the sun and frostbite from holding a cold beverage in my hand all week. And it was awesome. Here's proof:


Think I'd like to own one of those houses ...
 It was too windy for her favorite Frisbee so we did the ball instead.


Anyway, I'm rested and eager to jump back into my writing/blogging/tweeting--well, whatever the heck this is. :)


Thanks to the efforts of many of you, the New Adult Lit Chat (our first chat is next Thursday, July 26, 9 PM Eastern!) is getting some fabulous buzz going. You can check out the NALitChat blog HERE for upcoming chat dates, as well as other useful New Adult-y things I'll be posting from time-to-time. If you want to know what it's all about, you can check out my last post HERE.


Sincerely, to all of you who have tweeted, blogged, etc. about it so far: THANK YOU. If I can ever repay you in kind, just ask. Hope to "see" many of you at the chat. It'll be a good time.


Now for some exciting and scary personal writing news: I just got a story back from an "official" editor for the first time! 


I'm very excited about this story. It's a fun little paranormal romp with a Texas twist. (Should I say "twister" to make it more regionally appropriate?) It's a novelette, under 17,000 words and more than 10,000, and the first in a series I've been working diligently on for quite some time. It will be published in the near future, and I'll have much more to say on that in the weeks to come. For now ...


A few of you worked (it is WORK when you read for me, btw) on it as readers over the last couple of months, and your efforts helped whip it into the shape it's in. But, as we all know, our beta, omega, etc. readers can't catch everything. You need the cold, calculating and what I imagine to be lidless lizard-like eyes of a professional editor for the fine tuning. (Kidding. About the cold part at least.)


So the e-mail with her revisions arrived this AM. Super excited to dig in and start making the final changes. Unfortunately, I discovered I have a phobia of opening documents from editors. 


Is it going to overwhelm me? Did I do anything right? Did she re-write the entire thing after the first two pages? 


Don't get me wrong, I've as much confidence in this story as anything I've ever written. I thought it was pretty decent going into the final editing process. But somehow knowing THIS IS IT has me hyperventilating. Scared to death to even start. 


Question for all you old pros out there: Is it going to be this bad every time? Are you on medication? Would you recommend a shot of whiskey or some other adult drink before taking a look? How can I be this excited and this afraid to do something at the same time?


I'm sure at some point this morning I'm going to get started on it. Until then, I'm going to tape my eyes so they'll stop twitching.


~EJW~

22 comments:

  1. I too would like to own one of those houses. I need to remember to blog about this twitter chat thing.

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  2. Don't be scared of the suggested changed. I was a little nervous when my publisher's editor told me I needed to write a prologue for my first book. But all the suggested changes made the books better. That and when they suggest changes I say "All right" and get down to it.
    Glad you're back and had a great time at the beach.

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  3. I'm not an old pro or anything, but to me the stage you're in is the most fun. Actually, I've never been exactly where you are with a professional editor suggesting what to do so your story is published, but I really love the revision/editing stages of writing. Getting the story out of my head in the first place is what gives me hives. After that, it's all fun and games with the language. Good luck!

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  4. E.J. -- nope, it pretty much never gets better, getting things back from editors. It's akin to having a paper handed back in school.
    The nice thing about editors, though, is that they never rewrite for you. (In fact, no one should ever do this. This is a horrible breach of writer-critiquer etiquette, but that's neither here nor there for this comment.) But editors won't rewrite -- they'll point out grammatical flaws, they'll maybe point out continuity errors, they'll certainly call you out on spelling and weird verbs, but actually fixing all this is left entirely up to you.
    So it's never any less hyperventilating-inducing (from my experience) but it's also still very much under your control. Take that for what it's worth.

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  5. Congratulations on the novelette. I bet it's great. Good luck with the scary editor phase. I don't think I could live through too much of that myself. (Well, I've been there at a newspaper and they were pretty nice about it, but a recent short story got axed left and right.)

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  6. Welcome back! I'm jealous because I love the beach. :) Notes from editors do get easier over time but I don't think I'll ever get over that initial terror feeling.

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  7. Ooh, congrats on the story development. Awesome news. And what a cute dog. Glad you got some time away to relax and recharge.

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  8. Well, congratulatins,old boy! I knew you could do it.

    And yes [admitting to being an "old" pro] your reaction is normal. I remember when I had put my first book {self-pubbed], and thought, "God, now I have to do all this prmoting and set up a book signing..."

    The edits, don't rush through them. The end product is what you are after!

    When you hold your book in your hands for the first time, take pictures, a flim--whatever. You will not get that feeling back.

    Don't worry, the second time around gets easier.

    Glad you had a good time away. I'm about to go to Glacier Mt., so as to escape [for a time] the heat and dead grass look here.

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  9. Congrats!

    Think of your editor as a friend. Would a true friend steer you wrong? And I am sure you'll be able to make any revision necessary. You're a good writer. Anyone who reads your blog knows that.

    and by the way...your dog is so darn cute

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  10. How awesome! Congratulations on working with an editor~ don't be afraid to open the document, silly :)

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  11. Just got back from my own hot-weather vacation (only one day on the beach so can't call it a beach vacation), so you probably already got plenty of great advice. I feel that way even when I get crits back from betas and critique partners. I try to do a first read-through as if it's not my work. It's really hard to be that distant, but worth the effort anyway. Good luck with your series and the editing! Alcohol probably helps achieve distance. *cheers*

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  12. Welcome back! Glad to hear you had a nice vacation. Congratulations too! :) I sympathize with you. I always feel that way when I get critiques back from my partners and writing group. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but I just take a few deep breaths and push on with the work.

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  13. Oh my goodness, that's such excellent news! Congratulations on your story!!

    I'm always nervous before opening up notes from someone else. Whether it's my beta readers or my agent, I freak out. But then I open it, read through all the notes, realize that I will live through it, and then I come back to it a few days later.

    Good luck with your revisions. You'll do great!!

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  14. Adult-lit chat....oooo...if I can make it over, I will. I might be hair lopping.

    As for getting anyhting from your editor...nah, you'll never get over it.

    And taping your eyes shut won't keep them from twitching either.

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  15. Ride the fear like a wave...just open it! ;D
    Congrats, I'm so excited for YOU~
    I need a vacation from the home improvement vacation, lol
    Looks like you had a great get away! I am thrilled for you~
    It is a process and you are going to be published...
    YOU CAN DO THIS :D ATB

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  16. I'm now getting feedback and replies chapter by chapter from the people I've sent my MS off to for reading and going through. I still find myself feeling a bit wary at times of opening up an email, but the content is generally positive.

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  17. A beach vacation. I could very much use on of those. :)

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  18. An "official " editor? If you're as smart as I think you are, EJ, you'll run for your life!

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  19. Congrats on your progress. I'm wondering if the editor is from a publisher or someone you paid? Or maybe a volunteer. Good luck with it.

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  20. I am so happy you found an editor! Yeah, when that email comes in, you're like "OMG, it's here it's here it's here yay" but, somehow, the finger freezes on the Open button, haha. Look at it this way: First, it's only the editor's opinion. It's up to you to give it weight. Second, if you do give it weight, then it's one more rung on the way to making your writing great. Praise won't get you on the NYT bestseller list (or win you a Pulitzer, whatever your scribbler heart hankers after). It's only through critique--the harsher ones, usually--that we find the morsels of truth that push the limits our writing to where they need to be :)

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  21. How nice to get away for awhile. Your dog sure looks happy. If I do another blog before Thursday I'll advertise your chat for you again.

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“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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