Monday, October 3, 2011

Edits and Other Necessary Annoyances

I'm slowly moving through first-stage edits on one of my manuscripts. That, let me tell you, is not at all fun.

My method when reviewing a critique or suggested edits is this:

  1. Read the entire excerpt and comments. Allow for extra time just to see through all the red pen that is seemingly cloaking the entire freaking selection.
  2. Close my laptop--so I don't "accidentally" toss it across the room in a fit of rage-- and go do something else. Wash dishes, fold laundry, take a walk with the kids, anything that doesn't involve thinking directly about the bastard who dared to criticize my brilliant work.
  3. After a minimum of a few hours, I re-read the comments only.
  4. Then, if I'm not still in a blind rage, I start making changes.
  5. Slowly, work through the entire selection and make the necessary corrections.

The most important thing to remember is never, NEVER respond/reply to an editor immediately after viewing their comments for the first time. Having someone pick apart your blood, sweat, and tears is an eviscerating experience, no matter how accurate their comments may be and you don't want to say something in an impromptu email you'll later regret.

Sometimes it takes two days. Sometimes a week. But after I've calmed down and looked at it rationally, I'm able to ferret out the helpful comments and discard the ones the don't feel right. When it's all said and done, I'm always much happier with my manuscript after editing than I was before it was so rudely marked with red pen.

In other news, this week I've received a few rejection letters for various submissions. Don't worry, no tears were shed. It comes with the territory. Also, my two-year old son is obsessed with an extremely annoying show called Shaun the Sheep. I'd like to take Shaun the Sheep out back and put a bullet in his furry head! I love my kids, but their choice in programming leaves something to be desired.