The truth about editing

I have always been the sort of person who obsessively researches things. So  when I knew I was going into first-round edits for House of a Thousand Dolls, I paid very close attention to what other writers had to say about the process.



Mostly, it boiled down to this:

1. You get a giant editorial letter.

2. You freak out and feel like a failure and possibly cry because your editor HATES YOUR BOOK OMG.

3. You let it sit.

4. You tackle it one thing at a time.

5. You realize your editor is a freaking genius.

6. You do the edits.

7. Your book becomes awesome.


So far in my experience, this is mostly true.  (Especially the part about my editor being a genius.) But nowhere, in any of the blog posts, videos or Twitter discussions I read, do I remember seeing this:


WARNING.

THIS WILL BE THE HARDEST WORK YOU HAVE EVER DONE. 

THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. THERE ARE NO EASY FIXES. AND THERE IS NO WAY OUT.

SH*T JUST GOT REAL.


This is the core of my editing experience so far. It is the most difficult, most labor-intensive thing I have ever tried to do, even after ten years and seven books. (It's also the most deeply satisfying thing I've ever done, but I'll get into that in another post.)

Here's the thing about editing after a sale. It's work. Hard work. Harder than querying, harder than revising on my own, and way, way harder than writing the darn thing in the first place. And it's work you have to do because, hey, they paid you.

So as a good blogger, I thought I'd share with you the journey. I'm going to talk about editing for the next few posts. How I'm doing it, how it's working. Basically, my plan is to jabber about editing until you all tell me to stop.

Any questions?

What's been the hardest part of your writing journey so far?

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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.