Monday, October 24, 2011

The Power of the Red Pen

I'm going to do a throw-back here topic wise and talk about being edited. Because it's kind of the coolest thing about being a to-be-published writer. Suddenly it's not just you pounding away at the keys in the shadows anymore and hoping what you're writing is working. Now there is a whole TEAM to make sure your story doesn't suck!!

My novel GLITCH is in it's last editing rounds now, but it's been through the editing ringer many a time. First, my agent wanted me to do some heavy revisions before he took me on as a client. Then we did at least two more rounds before submitting to publishing houses last January.

Then we sold to SMP and I got my awesome sparkly Can't Believe How Awesome She Is editor, Terra Layton. We talked on the phone after the deal, and she was gushing about how she loved my book and what she thought we could do to make it better. But from the beginning, she was always: it's your name going on the cover, it's your book. So, um, yeah. How lucky did I get!!

My first round of edits involved a fourteen page edit letter and was probably the biggest revisions I'd done since I'd done for my agent in the beginning. She asked a lot of questions in the letter and pointed out problems, but while she made suggestions, she let me figure out how to fix them. Plot points from the end got moved to the middle, some of the Big Reveals were switched around, action was added and finally, the second half stopped sucking ;) 

There have been two more rounds since then, last one was Line Edits, which are the coolest thing ever. Line edits are where your magic editor actually goes in at a close line level and makes suggestions and changes. I was so grateful for these--she was able to help me smooth out transitions, make clearer my character's motivations, and make the thing more of a cohesive whole.

Meanwhile, I've been working on getting a solid draft of Book 2 done, and I look at it and think EEEK! Then I remember, I have the whole team now, we'll make sure it, too, doesn't suck in the end ;)
Heather Anastasiu is the author of GLITCH (St. Martin's Press/Summer 2012) Glitch in three words: Dystopia, Superpowers, & Love :) Check out my website for more news and updates.


  1. Sounds like you've been having a fab time editing! Oh I love that feeling!! So glad it's going well for you!

  2. That picture of Terra is basically a perfect Platonic representation of her.

  3. I'll have you know, Mordicai, that I drew that picture of Terra. With my mouse, in Paint. YOU'RE WELCOME. ;-)