For Readers & Writers

from Susan Dennard

October 17, 2014
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who took the time to fill out my NaNoWriMo survey last week! Your feedback helped me come up with my NaNo plan, which I'll share soon.

You guys are the best. Seriously.

Also, I should apologize for being absent online this past week. I had to take a last-minute trip for family reasons. :) I was in Florida on the beach, though, so I can hardly complain.

BUT, because I was away for a whole week, I don't have anything cool to share with the Misfits. Alas! Next week, next week. In the meantime...

For the Daydreamers:
Editorial Letters, Take 2
As mentioned in previous newsletters, I sold Truthwitch at around the same time that I began the Misfits & Daydreamers. As such, I'm perfectly poised to show you all some behind-the-scenes publishing stuff as it happens.

Right now I'm in the second round of revisions with my editor.

Now as mentioned here (and probably here as well), there are 
multiple rounds of edits. The standard recipe is:

1 round of Big Picture edits +
1 smaller round of Big 
Picture edits +
1 round of line-edits +
1 round of copy-edits +
1-2 rounds of proofs =
finished book

Those are the steps that the author works on. There are, of course, many other things going on behind the scenes, but we writers really only follow these steps to get our book ready for printing.

Sometimes, editors will ask for >2 editorial rounds (or the authors will ask for >2 rounds). This doesn't mean the book is bad, but rather that it's still not quite "there."

Other times, the second round will be eliminated all together. This could be because the book was ready to go after one round of revisions or it could be that the publication schedule is tight.

This is what's happening with Truthwitch--we're combining the second editorial letter with line-edits, and the reason for this is two-fold:
  • First, I did a good job with the first round of revisions, so with regards to Big Picture stuff, the story is pretty much ready to go.
  • BUT, what's really driving this straight-to-line-edits situation is the fact that we're on a tight schedule. Even though the book isn't coming out for another year (possibly even longer!), my editor and team want to have ARCs printed by February. In order to have ARCs in February, Truthwitch needs to be going to copy-edits at the end of October (this is just how the scheduling works out at Tor).
Now, you might've noticed I said "end of October" for copy-edits. That means I need to finish these line-edits/final macro edits in 1 week. 1 week is FAST for any book, my friends--especially when working with a 450-page book with four POV characters.

And here's the thing about line-edits: they can be REALLY deceptive. A seemingly easy comment from my editor will turn into Big Picture problem out of nowhere. For example, my editor might comment, "Why does X-character need to go to Y-City? Can you put in a few lines explaining?"

Sure, seems easy enough...except that once I dig in to those few lines, I'll discover that X-character's motivation for going to Y-City is total CRAP. Then I'll end up having to redo entire scenes. In 1 week.

But hey--that's how being an authors works. I will jump when my publisher says jump. And to be fair, my publisher isn't demanding I jump--they are asking me very nicely to jump so that my book stays on schedule. Since I really want ARCs in time, then I will jump (and do backflips and throw in a few cartwheels) to make it happen. I mean, it's only one week of all-nighters. That won't kill me, right?

So that's where we are in the Truthwitch world. Because of the schedule insanity, I probably won't have a new blog post up on Monday--but there will be a newsletter next week. :)

Do you guys have any question about how edits work? Or publishing? Don't hesitate to ask.

Now, as always, here are some links to wrap up the week!
See you next week, friends! And as always, if you have any questions about ANYTHING, drop by the forum to ask. Thank you for reading!

photo by Emily Rae Photography

Copyright © 2014
Susan Dennard
All rights reserved.

110 West 40th St., Suite 410
New York, NY 10018

I'm a misfit, a daydreamer, an animal-lover, and a (now gluten-free) cookie-eater.