Illustrated initials from a German fairytale book (1919 edition)

Big Picture Edits

I have just completed the “Big Picture Edits” on my last manuscript. My agent, has gone over my book with a fine-tooth comb and came up with an INCREDIBLY LONG list of things that don’t work/could work better/need expanding.

You know all those little lazy bit of writing you think will hide in the awesomeness of your plotting? They will be found out. All the slightly awkward bits of dialogue that you thought “oh, it will be fine“. It will jar on your reader as much as it did on you. And then there were all the little things I did not notice, for reasons varying from “I just love this character and will shoe-horn this conversation in, so it can shine its light upon all” to “well, I meant it to come across like this, so surely since it was in my head, you can see it too, in spite of me not having written a word for it to become apparent?”

All in all, the list of edits was about 100 bullet-points, some of which required barely a new paragraph, some which forced me to rewrite three chapters and add two brand-new ones.

And it was painful, I won’t lie. It took me over two months and extra 20k words But the book ended up being so much stronger as a result. I actually feel like it says what I need it to say now, and the characters are more consistent, more solid.

That’s the beauty of the editorial process, a collaborative one. It’s not meant to be easy.

So suck it up and enjoy the ride.