One of these editors will work with me more closely on the nitty-gritty of editing. So that means I have two primary editors: an acquisitions editor who manages the career aspect of my book (release dates, cover, etc.) and a writing-related editor who oversees the actual editing process.
Similar to any revisions process, in-house editing is done in layers. The first stage is known as developmental edits or rewrites. This is where I'm at. The editors look at the overall themes of my book, character development, plot lines, setting etc. They analyze the big picture and make notes of the major areas that need chiseling away (or in some cases hacked off).
The second layer is line-editing. At this point, the rewrites are completed, the plot works, the characters are strong, chapters are rewritten, scenes cut or added. Now the book is ready for sanding down. Sentence flow, word choices, inconsistencies, POV, etc.--everything is examined and the rough edges are smoothed out.
The final stage of editing is the copy edit. A copy editor takes a detailed look at the book, correcting grammar, typos, and punctuation. She also checks for accuracy and format. This is usually the final edit before the manuscript goes to the typesetter.
I'm at the very first stage, the rewrites. My writing-related editor emailed me and we established a time for our first phone meeting to discuss the big changes I would need to make. Our conversation took place last Tuesday. (If you follow me on Twitter, you've already heard some of my moans and groans!)
Because of the time difference, we had a slight mix-up on the hour of the call. However, I only hung up on my editor once. (I blame it on my new phone! Really!) And I only had to put the phone down one time to keep my noisy boys from killing each other in their rowdy game of tackle football INSIDE--which I don't allow, particularly when I'm on an important phone call. (So much for that movie I stuck in to keep everyone quiet!)
At the beginning of our call, we spent some time getting to know each other. I was amazed to learn that her parents were among the founders of Bethany House Publishers and that she had worked in one capacity or another at Bethany House for most of her adult life. Obviously she has an incredible amount of experience and wisdom which she can bring to our relationship.
After chatting for a bit, she began to give me feedback on my book. I appreciated that she shared the positives first--the things the editors particularly liked about the story and about my writing in general.
Then of course we eventually HAD to discuss their concerns. These were the issues that all of the various editors had noted during their separate readings. They'd met together to discuss the book and to compare notes. And then my editor was delegated to call me and share their "major concerns."
I'll share more of the specifics and my reaction in my next couple of posts. . .
Question for the day: How do you keep your kids quiet while you're on an important phone call?
No, seriously! I love the break down of the editing process into specific layers. It makes so much sense to do the major, big picture revisions first and save the smoothing out for later. So here's the real question: Have you used layers in editing? What works best for you as you do the first major rewrites? I'd love some tips!