During ArmadilloCon I had the pleasure of talking with a woman who was in the enviable-but-frustrating position of having an agent, but her manuscripts were still being reviewed by publishers. (Enviable because YOU HAVE AN AGENT, and that’s awesome. Frustrating, especially at cons, because while you are on the path to success, you don’t have that tangible commodity to show for it. Talking up your agent-having alone just sounds strange.) She was already worried about what might happen when an editor got a hold of it. What sort of crazy changes might be demanded?
Fortunately, I had just been through two editing processes, and I could reassure her that it wasn’t likely to be as radical as the horror stories she had heard.
In fact, I even wrote an article for Book Country on how my process was.
Everyone’s writing process and editing process are different, of course. For example, I hear from a lot of writers that editing involves throwing a lot of words away and re-doing it. I, personally, could never work that way… but at the same time, in my writing process, I cannot do the “just get it on the page and fix it later” method. Not to say it’s perfect when I first write it… not at all. But if you were to compare the first draft of the first chapter of Murder of Mages to the one I submitted as a final version a few weeks ago, the fundamentals are more or less the same. And almost all of my “major surgery” edits have been a matter of adding more to the manuscript, rather than throwing stuff away.
Anyhow, being edited wasn’t a scary process at all, thanks to having a fabulous, Hugo-nominated editor (fingers crossed for this year!) Go and check out the article, and you can see the true finalized-cover of Thorn, including the DAW logo which identifies it as the 1681st book in their 30+ year history.