The moment you see your first lot of edits…


It was with great excitement I received my first lot of edits back from my publisher. My fingertips drummed impatiently on my desk as I waited for the document to load, and when it did – Oh. My. God.

Nothing could have prepared me for seeing the slash of red lines that crisscrossed over my beautifully crafted prose. The comment bubbles that spewed over page after page of a manuscript I’d thought was in pretty good shape.

My laptop lid slammed as I forced it closed and with my heart thumping I did what any self-respecting author would do. I crept downstairs to the kitchen and opened the hobnobs, chomping down three before I felt able to go and face the horror that was once my novel.

Back at my desk I opened my laptop, millimetre by millimetre. The screen illuminated. The document flashed open. The red lines were still there.

It was time to put my big girl pants on and read through the comments and, dusting biscuit crumbs from my shirt, I did just that.

I’d never used the track changes feature of Microsoft Word before but once I’d got past the anxiety of learning something new I trawled through the file accepting the basic changes, formatting, font, that sort of thing and it didn’t look quite so scary any more. Not quite so red.

On the second read it struck me there’s not much to do at all and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, but I’m keeping the biscuits next to me. Just in case.

27 thoughts on “The moment you see your first lot of edits…

  1. aww Good luck! I’m trying to edit my redraft and edit my novel by myself first before I reach out for a publisher, or professional editor, it’s like a rollercoaster ride of emotions haha

  2. I did laugh but I completely understand. Just a week away from launching my own book Louise, I now know that the writing is the easy part. What happens after that is where I realised I had to surrender a lot, let go of my ego and be open to learn and learn! You will be great! Keep those biscuits close by.

  3. Your experience with this publishing company makes for interesting reading. In the not-too-distant future, I’ll be looking for a publisher or literary agent, and I’m curious how this will work out for you.

  4. Dear Louise,

    Those red marks can be jarring. The fact is that none of us are perfect and it’s so easy to miss those little errors and typos. It’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes on your side. All part of the journey.

    Best wishes and shalom,


  5. LOL, I can totally relate. Few months ago I started writing for a photography magazine and I remember when I got my first article draft back from my editor. I was in shock!!! I would say it was like going back to school, save for the fact I never got any of my tests or homework that red. But as you found out, once you start going through it, it is not that bad. Last month I sent another article and got the response from my editor that everything was pitch perfect. 🙂 Good luck!

  6. We probably associate red with blood. It’s probably shocking to see it all over our work. I use it myself to make corrections on a short story. It’s great it wasn’t as bad as you first thought. 🙂 — Suzanne

Thanks so much for reading!

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