Woah! That’s all I know to say.
I’m working on my first round of revisions after having sent my manuscript to a professional editor, and I have to say my first reaction was ‘What the f#$%’.
I woke early on Sunday morning and rolled over to grab my phone. The first thing I did was check my email. When I saw I had a message from my editor, I was excited. I mean, this was the first time I had received professional feedback. Well, it didn’t take long for the message to burst my bubble. It was page upon page of suggestions (not really, but reading it without caffeine made it feel that way).
It didn’t take long for me to convince myself it wasn’t so bad. I got out of bed, walked to my computer, and looked at my returned manuscript. Ten hours later, I finally said enough is enough! Ten hours, you ask? Yes, ten hours. The manuscript wasn’t as bad as I had initially thought, but it was time consuming changing the 377 exclamation points to the proper punctuation, removing 263 ‘just’ usages, and reworking over 900 adverbs ending in ‘ly’ (still working on those adverbs). There were other things, but you can see those were the majority.
After mailing back and forth with my editor, we decided the best thing I could do would be start at the beginning and give it another round of revising. It needed it...bad!!!
Today, I’ve completed several chapters, and I’ll be starting the next chapter when I leave here, but I wanted to give some advice to my fellow authors/writers (I know I've used 'ly' adverbs, excessive exclamation points, etc):
- Pay for a professional editor if at all possible. It is well worth it. I honestly felt I had a good book, but I was wrong. If you can’t afford to pay for a professional edit (they can be very expensive), ask around. There are a lot of well-educated people who are willing to help or point you in the right direction. If you still can’t find someone, I recommend downloading a free or low-cost editing software program.
- If you use Microsoft Word, always use the ‘Find’ option to search for words ending in ‘ly’. If you can replace those pesky adverbs and replace with solid action verbs, your work will flow and have more of an impact.
- Most of all, have fun and continue writing!