On Monday morning, I woke up to an email that nearly made me lose my Honey Nut Cheerios. It was from my editor, Liz. She had read THE COLLECTOR again and was ready to discuss edits. “Did I have time for a quick phone chat?” she asked.
My stomach plummeted. A phone call? A PHONE CALL?! If you’re like me, you’ve heard there are three things that can happen when receiving your first round of edits:
A) You receive a short editorial letter explaining the changes. *Sigh with relief*
B) You receive a LONG editorial letter explaining the changes. *Cue tears*
C) You receive a request-for-phone-call, AKA, your book will look nothing like it does now. *Initiate full-fledged depression spiral*
So when I realized my editor was utilizing method C, I thought I was done for. Regardless, I tried to stay cheerful (I’d eaten Cheer-ios, after all), and emailed back: “How ’bout this afternoon?”
Nine hours later, I waited for the phone to ring. It did. It was my editor. We shot the proverbial shit for a few minutes while I thought, I know what you’re doing. You’re buttering me up before you put a bullet between my eyes. Just pull the trigger. Just DO IT! She finally “did it,” and you know what, it wasn’t so painful after all. I agreed with most of what she had to say, and even though it felt like I was compromising on some areas (something no writer wants to do), my gut said the book would only improve. After three hours (yes, three; we needed time to talk hot boys), we hung up.
That night I didn’t sleep at all. But the next morning, once I’d typed everything into a clean document, complete with fancy bullet points, it didn’t look so intimidating.
I’m now three days, and 100 pages, into edits. I haven’t made too many changes, and nothing has made the book feel foreign. Guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to believe all the horror stories. Sometimes a phone call is just that…a phone call.
Now, trying to incorporate your edits?
That’s always painful.