I got my first set of revisions yesterday. Or more to the point, I got the revision letter emailed to me. The hard copy of the manuscript in all its full red-pen glory should be waiting for me on my doorstep when I get home today.

I’ll admit I was a tad knocked for a loop when I first read it, but then, I’m not really sure what I was expecting. Okay, there’s a small part of me that was hoping I’d have a few easy edits and then I’d sail right on through. Naive, eh?

Although @SmoulderingSea put it best when I chatted with him about it. “Welcome to being published, honey.” I detect a touch of sarcasm in there, but I could be wrong. (Poor dude has become so busy lately…)

And it’s an eye-opener for sure. As an aspiring author, you hear so much about polishing up that manuscript and revising, but in the end, it’s the story and the voice of the author that really sell a book. And I think I believe that now…as “finished” as I thought the story was, there’s clearly more work to be done.

Still, I’ve got the advantage of knowing that my editor loves my work. She wants nothing but the best for the manuscript, so that takes the sting out a bit. I don’t have anything to compare the letter itself to in terms of length or details.  It was 26 pages long, though. Single-spaced. Which seems terribly overwhelming at first, although a good deal of what she called me on is details that I got sloppy with  – world-building elements that need to be solidified, scenes that need to be trimmed or moved or completely changed up. Thus far, there’s only one point I really feel I need to fight for, but I’m  going to give it a few days to roll around in my head before I go one way or the other.

The irony of it is that I had tried to smoosh some of my writing style to fit into more of a romance mold, because I thought it might sell faster – i.e. insisting on the Happily Ever After type ending, for example, even though it wasn’t something I had originally envisioned. And which now may be pulled out, or at least unraveled a bit. Which on one hand is awesome, because now I feel I can be a bit more free with aiming the story at where I wanted to go to begin with. On the other, I have to rework quite a bit of it to get there.

Small things, really. I just have to shift mental gears a bit to make it happen.

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15 Responses to Revisions

  1. Katiebabs says:

    26 pages single spaced revision letter? Congrats! You have arrived. 🙂

  2. Adri says:

    No sarcasm intended, doll–just being blunt. (Although the fact that I had six phone calls clawing for my attention might have contributed to any terseness.) Good luck with your revisions. Remember, the first cut's the hardest.

  3. KL Grady says:

    I have heard that the longer a revision letter is, the better. It's the short ones that will do you in…. Of course, I have no personal experience here. 😉 Just what I've read on some editor's or agent's blog somewhere.

  4. mynfel says:

    Arrived? Is that what they're calling it these days?  LOL.

  5. mynfel says:

    And I adore you for your bluntness. Much more preferable to ass-kissing. (There is no awesomesauce in ass-kissery, you know. And I am *all* about Awesomesauce.)

  6. mynfel says:

    So the real question is…Is 26 pages long? or short??  LOL.

  7. Jeffe says:

    I vote that it's long!

  8. LaTessa says:

    Hey on the bright side, 26 pages is better than 50 😛

    you can do it, no problem. All a part of the "birthing" process, remember 🙂

  9. sarahjayne says:

    It's really very cool that you can rework some of the ending more toward what you originally envisioned. Good luck with the revisions.

  10. Sandy Williams says:


    I'm waiting to get comments on my ms back from my agent and I'm a bit terrified. I think taking a few days to let your editor's comments sink in is a great idea.

    Good luck!

  11. Nicole says:

    It's so interesting to hear your experiences!  I was nodding when you mentioned the irony in being told our MS has to be polished perfection, only to learn once it's been picked up that it needs more work.  Eye-opening, for sure, but these words felt reassuring to me: "…but in the end, it's the story and the voice of the author that really sell a book." 

    Best of luck with revisions!  When you take a writing break, visit my blog  I left a little something for you there!

  12. mynfel says:

    <span>Oh wow! Thanks!  I'll get it up here some time this week. :D</span>

  13. mynfel says:

    Yeah – I think you have to just sit on it a bit. The first gut reaction is this sort of outraged snort. "What do you MEAN I have to revise???"

    But in reality, this is where you really need to trust someone else's opinion – and that you *can* do better. 

    So, I guess we'll see how it goes. 🙂

  14. C.J. says:

    So excited for you!  And I was really happy to see the part about changing some bits to match your original vision.  

    I've felt the sting of not "fitting in" to the Romance mold myself quite a bit over the past seven months.  Based on what I was reading and buying, I knew stories like yours and mine, that didn't fit the traditional HEA, had a market – I just wasn't sure how to "sell" it to reach an agent or on how to package my book when they contacted editors.

    Wishing you the best with the editing process and I'll be checking back by to see how your progress goes!

  15. mynfel says:

    And congrats on your own agent success! 🙂   

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