I recently exchanged my manuscript with a writer friend who also had a novel she wanted me to read. We read and edited on paper (we’re old-school that way), so I now have 300+ pages with notes, plus an “editor’s letter” she gave me summarizing her comments.
I also just wrapped a big freelance project (a 24-page special section for a trade magazine) for which I served as content editor. This booklet was reviewed by five people who all provided comments via Microsoft Word’s track changes function on different versions of each article. Part of my job was to reconcile all the different files with their different comments and questions into final documents.
Is it any wonder I’ve got editing on the brain?
Now that the monster freelance job is out the door (and I have a little window before I begin the next one), it’s time to tackle these edits. If, like me, you get a little light-headed at all the work you have to do after you’ve received a critique letter and edits, these suggestions might help.
- Read the letter, then wait. If you get an editor’s letter or notes from a beta reader, it may be a good idea not to react right away. Give yourself a day, then reread it. I find that even when I’ve asked for notes and even if the notes support how I was feeling about the manuscript, I still feel a little pang at seeing the problems spelled out in black and white by somebody else. Waiting before I wade in to the work gives me a chance to have an initial “I-suck” reaction. With a little time I can then see the comments more clearly. Yay! I only partially suck.