Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Developmental Edit aka Punch In The Gut

There are two edits. The developmental and the line edits. Developmental is cheaper and for the most part easier to handle. I sent my manuscript to my editor who quickly got it back to me with a bunch of notes and suggestions. Valuable suggestions that took the book from 48,000 word novella to 61,000 word novel. I added scenes that I hadn't realized I needed, and an extra character.

I knew going into the editing process that I don't write very well. I have the technical and grammar knowledge of an eighth grader, so anything about the writing itself was not an issue. I've read where some people describe getting a line edit is like getting a punch in the gut. Not so, it was the development edit that hurt.

Seeing all my grammar mistakes highlighted and corrected hurt a lot less than I thought it would. I mean, I wrote over 61,000 words. So there were bound to be mistakes that I didn't catch. Turns out there were a lot of them. But that was okay.

I got the devo edit first. That was the one that hurt a little.

"Your character is unlikable," she wrote. But that's my creation, that's my boy. And it wasn't even that he's unlikable, I'm pretty sure it was that he was being unlikable. But it still hurt a little until I realized, this is what I asked for.

I know what is in my head. I have a bias towards my MC. I know what he thinks, feels, and experiences because he's lived in my head for almost five years. On my editor's first reading, she didn't have that insight, because it was my job to get her to see what I already knew.

In the end, the developmental edit and just recently the line edit, have been worth every penny.

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