Editing Essentials Of A Debut Author

I’m steeped in editing The Glass Wives and I must admit, I’m loving it.  I haven’t read my manuscript thoroughly since before it sold in October.  And now, I’m going through bit by bit with the guidance of the smashing Brenda Copeland at St. Martin’s. I’m making it the best book it can be.  It’s daunting and exhilarating.  And, it’s brought a few things to my attention.

There are editing essentials and they differ for each new and seasoned author.  And because I’m planning a big blogiversary extravaganza giveaway to start next week, I thought I’d share my personal insights now, before we all get caught up in the party atmosphere that shall become Women’s Fiction Writers.

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If you have any editing essentials – whether it’s soon-to-be-published or a WIP, tell us in the comments. Maybe I’m missing something awesome, let’s say, like a snack!  And of course there are editing essentials not pictured here — like my debut author’s group, Book Pregnant, with whom I correspond about a gazillion times per day, and reading blogs and writerly banter on Twitter.  All that helps keep me perfectly balanced, although I use the term lightly.

And, just a note, our Thursday guest will kick-off the WFW blogiversary celebration!

See you then!



14 thoughts on “Editing Essentials Of A Debut Author

  1. Such a great idea for a post, Amy! And you know we are all so anxious to hear how it’s going with THE GLASS WIVES, so thank you for the update (and the pictures of your very adorable writing partners!)

    My one editing essential is scrap paper so I can keep track of names/dates/timeline stuff as I go through–and notes of what I need to double-check/etc.


    • Well, Erika, you are so smart because the one thing I find I’m always searching for — is paper! I end up ranting “Why am I a writer without paper?” and although I have a multitude of pens (I like colored pens and pencils, they make me happy) I can never find paper when I need it. I am so buying myself some old-fashioned pads of paper today. 😉


      • Amy dear, YOU’RE the smart one for buying notepads! I should have couched that by saying when I use scrap paper what I’ve really done is inadvertently taken one of my husband’s papers and scrawled something on the back–eeks!


  2. Wow! The editing process (with the help of a seasoned pro) sounds great! I feel so lost editing (and re-editing) on my own..at this point, I’m not even sure if I’m making it better or over-polishing it. I’d love to someday have this sort of guidance/partnership. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    And love the shot of your furry crit partners. I always think of my 10-pound rescue mutt as my editorial support too 🙂


  3. Oh me, too. I love, love, LOVE edits. I had a blast doing my editor’s revisions for THE UNFINISHED GARDEN (hated the page proof stage, though!) p.s. I want your slippers. 🙂


  4. LOVE that title, Glass Wives, and am wondering what it’s about….mmmm. I kind of like editing, especially the thrill of changing something my editor wants and making my book better than it was before. Essentials for editing? A soft chair for my rear end and another to put my feet up on, then I’m good to go. Oh, and a glass of iced tea perhaps and my favorite velvet pillow at my back. Oh, forgot about my favorite chocolate lab, Jack. I love it when he flops his ear over my MacBook. Okay, now I can write better!


  5. You are so cute, Amy! I love the spoon positioned just-so on the coffee mug. 😉 Your son’s got a sweet set up…I’d take advantage of that big desk, too. And, wow… TWO sets of glasses! That is some *serious* prep! I love this post! Thanks for the smile today.

    Looking forward to the party here. 😀


  6. That’s so funny. One of the things I look forward to (optimistically) about finally selling my books is having the attention of a professional editor who, unlike my crit partners, will be looking at the whole thing as a unit, and sticking with me while I make the edits that will polish it beyond my own exhausted capabilities. It’s lovely to have a second pair of eyes on your work. I can imagine that it lends the editing process a second life. That needed burst of energy and insight to get you that last mile. Glad you’re enjoying it Amy and cute post. Love the dogs and the slippers.


  7. Amy, it’s great that you enjoy the edits. It’s been a while since you’ve looked at your book from beginning to end so it might feel as if you’re visiting an old friend. You’ll get the knots untangled, you’ll cut and add, and the story will be better than ever.

    I just got back from a ten-day vacation — hiking in a few national parks — and my edits were waiting for me. As soon as I trade my hiking boots for pink slippers, I’m ready to go.


  8. Amy: Be sure to stick to a schedule, just like you probably did when writing the novel. And be organized. There is nothing worse than having to dig around for that email from your editor or inadvertently working from the wrong electronic file. And get some fresh air. Being in your edits 24/7 does nothing for your fresh perspective! 🙂


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