The Memento Mori edits are back.
It’s all mind-numbingly real, now. I’m starting a new calendar year with a full edit in hand, and something akin to a real plan of attack for what happens next.
Edits come first, of course. Then beta-reading, then another round of (hopefully light[er]) edits, then another round of beta-readers. A last pass at tweaks and polishing and then…query letters.
The whole thing is daunting and exciting. There is still so much work yet to be done, but somehow having the edits make it seem doable (even if a bit overwhelming).
I spent a whole evening going over the edits – just reading the comments and suggestions, cringing at patterns of redundant words (“utterly” apparently being the word of choice for overuse and abuse), sifting and considering and questioning and rereading and thinking.
End result? I agree with 98.5% of all the recommendations made. And the 1.5% I didn’t agree with were matters of preference anyway, and the editor pointed that out herself.
Non-negotiable edits included redundant vocabulary (“utterly” etc), abuse of the semicolon; murky dialogue tags (who is “he?”), sprawling detours (“I don’t think you need this whole section”), and worldbuilding inconsistencies (“Yes, but how does that work, exactly? Can character X even do that?”). And so on.
Negotiable edits center on plot subtleties, characterizations, in-context magic rules, and so forth. But the suggestions were so clear-eyed, and with such a view for making my narrative tighter and with a more even, engaging pace, that I cannot reasonably dismiss any but perhaps two of them.
In the next few days, I’ll meet with my editor to discuss those edits and the most effective way to execute them. I’m sure I’ll come away with even more food for thought, but hopefully also a more concrete game plan for what lies ahead.
And when that happens, I’ll be sure to let you know.
What about YOU? Where are you in your writing journey? Let me know in the comments!