On Monday I received my editorial letter, that lovely document from an editor where they tell you what they’d like from your book in revision.
Since I’d heard a lot of horror stories from other writers, I was nervous going into it. I had mentally prepared myself for anything from a major gut of the book to a re-envisioning of the world. I had resolved to choose my battles. To give myself twenty-four hours to process the letter and then read it again with an open mind. To be unafraid of hard work and fearless in considering changes, even radical ones.
Turns out I didn’t need to be half so worried as I was. When I finished reading the letter, I nearly fell off my chair in happiness and relief. I had prepared to choose my battles, but turns out I didn’t need to. My editor is a genius. Nearly every change (98% or more of line-by-line edits, even) were things that I could see would make the book better.
As a whole, the changes are going to be a lot of work, and I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking about the best way to implement one of them, but overall, I’m in a really good spot. Having the opportunity to deepen my main character’s emotional journey, make my worldbuilding deeper and more consistent, and fill in backstory I think will take the book to another level.
I talked to Jesse this morning in a lovely conversation. Overall, I told her I thought she was dead-on, which I’m sure made it a fun phone call for her. I brought up my one or two minor quibbles. And we talked about some of her specific questions and suggestions. I talked about my plans for the larger world, and we chatted about My Cousin Vinny (a fantastic movie, if you haven’t seen it). Finally, we talked due date for the revision, which I think is going to work for everyone. I think I thanked her twice (I was grateful, and relieved to be able to sign onto all of the changes!) and we hung up.
Then I did a happy dance around the room and called my husband. For the first time, I feel like a real author.