Editing and feedback

Published by Corbyn in the blog Corbyn's blog. Views: 156

So today I saw a post by Kevin Hearne on facebook. For those of you who don't know who Kevin Hearne is, he writes the Iron Druid Chronicles (which is wildly entertaining and you should read it if you like fantasy). Anyway, the post talked about his editor, and it got me curious so I looked her up. (Yes I feel a little bit like a cyber stalker right now thanks!)

As it turns out, I found a interview/set of dialogue between Kevin and his editor (Tricia) at Del Rey which outlines what it's like to work on one of Kevin's books. Mind you, Kevin Hearne is a NY Times bestselling author, so I read it being the fangirl that I am.

A few things struck me about the post. First, I admire the relationship that Kevin has with his editor, and if I ever find myself in a position to have an editor like that, I hope I have that kind of relationship with them as well. Secondly, the process, which is what this post is really all about.

I'll be posting a link to the article I read later, but essentially it's an outline for the process that one of Kevin's books goes through from first draft to completion. Even as a newbie writer I know that the book I finish will go through multiple reincarnations before it's anywhere near ready to be seen by anyone. What surprised me was the number of revisions that one of Kevin's books go through. I should mention here that not only is Kevin Hearne's series been a bestseller, but he's also been an English teacher, does that mean his grammatical chops are all encompassing? No, but he definitely has a leg up on most of us.

In any event, his stories start off just like the rest of ours, in the rough draft phase. Once he's combed through them once, they're shipped off to an alpha reader, then combed through again. It's at this point his (first draft) is sent to his editor for review, line edit, and well it's much like a really good critique group wrapped up in one person. I won't bore you with all the details of what happens from here on out, but I will say you should read through the process yourself.

You're probably wondering what the point is of this post and why I didn't just share the link and move on. Well, I want to stress how important it is to have someone for feedback on your work. Someone not related to you, that probably barely knows you at all. It's important to get that feedback, to know what's working and what's not in your piece. Sometimes it's hard to see the forest for all the trees.

I hope we can all find someone who knows our voices well enough to be that person for us, and I want to encourage myself to find someone like that (an alpha reader and editor to help make my pieces the best they can be...) but also to remind myself and everyone else not to be so hung up about needing the help.

I mean if a writer like Kevin Hearne (or heck pick your own favorite) still does, what's my excuse for not looking for it?

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