Anna Shinoda

All Authors Lie on the Floor and Cry During Edits, Don’t They?

In the mail today I received a little gift from my editor: her latest round of editorial suggestions for Learning Not to Drown.  But this round is different.

For the last two drafts, my editor had sent me a big long editorial letter.  It’s usually around 9 or 10 single space pages.  Out of those pages one half page is dedicated to telling me how awesome my writing is.  The rest tells me the areas that need major work.  Attached via rubber band to that editorial letter is my manuscript with her thoughts also written in the margins.  When I get a fat envelope in the mail from Atheneum, I first have a feeling of complete exhilaration and I immediately rip it open as fast as I can because there is no way I can wait a second longer.  Really, I’m wanting to read that half page and just stop, because who doesn’t love to be told that something they have created is amazing?  Then I read the rest of the letter.  Reality sets in, but I’m still thrilled, and my outlook is very positive.  So I start.  Inevitably I get overwhelmed.  SO much needs to be fixed.   And my manuscript is so long.  And it will take forever.  And what makes me think that I am a good enough writer/this is a good enough story that anyone will want to read my book anyway?  All of this usually ends with me crying on the floor and questioning why I write in the first place.  Which is very dramatic and a pretty immature thing to do, but I’d like to think that every author lies on the floor and weeps at least once during edits.  After I get that out of my system, I get myself up off the floor and work.  Despite all the doubt I had in myself and in my ability to improve my writing, somehow it all gets done.  The book has improved.  It’s much better than the last draft.

Today, when the stuffed envelope came in the mail, there was no editorial letter.

No major issues with the plot.  Or character development, or timelines or settings.  Or character philosophy.  Or metaphors.  The major issues have, apparently, all been handled.

Just line edits.  Details.  Changing words and sentences.  Cutting out the stuff the story really doesn’t need.  I kind of can’t believe that I’ve finally made it to this point.

Oh, and this time I have an actual deadline.  So I’d better start working.  Now.

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11 thoughts on “All Authors Lie on the Floor and Cry During Edits, Don’t They?

  1. thegluelpfan on said:

    That is probably one of the happiest moments a writer can have,the others being actually seeing your book published and signing it for people.You’ve apparently done a wonderful job so keep going and bring that book to us!

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  2. gatsie on said:

    Pick yourself up and try again 😉

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  3. Anna you totally kick ass!
    Just in reading your blogs, I’m anxious for the next line and don’t want it to end. Imagine what it’ll be like when we read your book!.
    You are so passionate about this thing, that you’re going to make it awesome.
    It’s like Mike says, it’s not about it being perfect, it’s about deciding when your done, and standing behind it. Reminding yourself that YOU love it, and letting that be enough. ;D

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  4. I know that changing a draft could improve your story, but what if you wanted your story to be that certain way? I get that changing up grammar and spelling but you want to stay unique in your writing. Nevertheless, that too could get really stressful.

    Congrats :3

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  5. astrocyn on said:

    That is great progress! And, yes, anything that you put so much work into will inevitably involve moments of serious doubt. Some people cry on the floor. Some punch things. You allow yourself to wallow, and then you get up and keep going. A metaphor for life, eh?

    Like

  6. wjmccardle on said:

    I think anyone who does something creative for a living has moments of crying on the floor. If no blood, sweat or tears are shed during the process, then anyone could do it. But you’re not just anyone.

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  7. YoMarquesLP on said:

    I just love your passion for writing, it’s incredibly amazing! I’m glad you’ve managed to get through all the phases till now, and it’s okay to get stressed with it once in a while! After all, it’s our work and we want to do the best with it. Congratulations for reaching this new phase! Wishing you the best of luck for the rest, can’t wait to read your book 🙂

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  8. evooba on said:

    Congratulations!!! That’s amazing news! It must have felt really awesome when you opened the envelope and found out there was no editorial letter. You are a level higher now to success!
    Good luck with the deadline, keep writing! 😀

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  9. Whoa! Congratulations on the progress you’ve made ​​with your book! My brother is a writer of the first book so I understand how frustrating the first half page of flattery then read the list of imperfections. But encouragement! Many writers are lying on the floor and cry. The key is to get up and keep working.

    Congratulations,
    and I want to read Learning Not to Drown and share with my friends
    Have you considered a version in Spanish? Greetings and blessings (:

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  10. I pull at my hair and scratch my arms whenever I’m waiting for reviews/feedback on my writing.

    Sometimes I cry.

    Nice to know you do, too, haha. Congratulations on getting past all that! Can’t wait to read your book, I’ll pass it along to my younger sisters (: They’re in high school now. Just last week I could have sworn I was picking them up from elementary………

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  11. Congratulations! Glad your book is making a lot of progress and got constrictive feedback from the letter. I don’t know what to call it, so I am going with that. Hop to it! Get done before the deadline! ~waves pom poms cheering~.

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