I feel like I'm now moving out of the "Whoa, is this really happening?" phase of this process and am now solidly in the "I may be in over my head" phase. Don't get me wrong - this is not a complaint by any means. I'm so grateful to get to have this conundrum. There's a very good reason why I'm not an editor, however. My editor is amazing. In a matter of months, my manuscript went from a mess only the author could love... to a thing of beauty. It is almost ready to share with you and the world. We are SO close.
Now it's my turn to edit the edited version. My editor sent me the manuscript as she sees it. I see it almost the same way... but little things... like witchfire. (What is witchfire you ask? Check out my Instagram post...) If you type it right now, you'll see your autocorrect kick in, inevitably underlining it in red and offering suggestions. My editor changed each instance of the (albeit made-up) word to "witch fire". The thing is, I made it one word on purpose. I wanted to normalize it as if it has existed as a part of our societal lexicon all along. Campfire, witchfire... just another perfectly normal fire type. Normal, but magical. "Witch fire" just feels like nothing. It takes all the magic away.
That's just one example. My editor is incredible. The level of detail, consistency, and commitment is impeccable. Her taste is impeccable. She's just not me - so, I go back through. Line by line, page by page, I review the changes and make my own.
It takes quiet, uninterrupted attention. It takes passion, imagination... and maddening focus. If you need me this Holiday season, I'll be in the corner with my binder and my highlighters. Did I mention I edit by hand? Call me old-fashioned, but there's something really satisfying to me about having the tangible pages in front of me. Each page is like checking boxes on a to-do list... yet the sum of the parts is my heart and soul.