First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope your day is filled with lots of kisses, hugs, and chocolate!
So, this past week, I received the major news from my editor that my novel is out of the revision process and in a copy editor’s hands. I received lots of congratulations (thank you!) followed by the question, “What does that mean?” The short answer is that it is one major step closer to publication. Here’s more of an explanation…
The writing process is not linear, but it tends to have steps we all go through from idea to finished product. Here they are:
As a journalist, I lived this process daily. Get an assignment, do the research and interviews, draft the article, an editor reads it and makes corrections or offers suggestions, I revise it, it gets read again and, when ready, moves on to the copy desk, where editors take a super close look at it for errors, and then prepare it to be published in the newspaper.
The book publication process is similar, but while the newspaper business runs through these steps daily, months pass between each step when creating a book. Prewriting and drafting could take a year (seriously). In the middle of drafting, you may need to stop and return to the planning phase because something isn’t working and you have to think it through.
When you share it with others for revision suggestions, the revising and redrafting and revising and redrafting and….you get the picture…could go on for months. And in the middle of this process, you may leap back to prewriting/planning if you need to move chapters around and think through the structure and events. At one point, I stopped everything and used post-it notes on my wall to figure out how to tackle a major revision.
I’m not complaining. All of the revisions were worth it. The story I started drafting years ago is SOOOOO much better today thanks to suggestions from my family and friends, and later, my agent and editor. All of the drafting and revising has resulted in a story I’m proud of and excited to share soon with the world.
So, after looping through drafting and revising for months, to be told the manuscript has moved on to copy editing is a big deal, like jump-up-and-down-and-fist-bump-someone kind of excitement. Because this means the manuscript is out of the writing phase and into the production phase. Because if you refer to the chart (yes, I’m a teacher), the story is one pie shape closer to “Publish.” AGHHHHHH!!! Crazy, right?
I’m as excited as he is to see what happens through the editing phase! Any comments or advice from people who have been through it?