15 stages you go through with structural edits

  1. My structural edits have arrived. I don’t think I’m strong enough to cope. Pour a glass of wine.
  2. Open the email, skim through the notes. Feel lightheaded and slightly sick. Close email. Drink more wine.
  3. Take a deep breath and read editor’s notes properly. The changes are enormous. Hyperventilate. I can’t do this.
  4. Pull myself together. Remind myself I am LUCKY to be in this position. Open the document. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH RED? There are track changes EVERYWHERE.
  5. Outrage – this will RUIN my book. RUIN it.
  6. Google self-publishing.
  7. Cry.
  8. Go shopping – can’t possibly edit until I have more highlighters/post-its/notebooks/chocolate.
  9. Make a list. Lists are good. Lists make everything manageable.
  10. Pull the book apart and piece it back together.
  11. Read manuscript – realise editor was actually right all along and the changes ARE an improvement.
  12. Relief.
  13. Email manuscript back to editor. Collapse on the sofa. Hurrah. It is DONE!
  14. Remember there’s still the copy edits to go. Despair.
  15. Open more wine…

If you’ve enjoyed this you might want to hop over to ’15 stages you go through writing a first draft.’

35 thoughts on “15 stages you go through with structural edits

  1. Reblogged this on Wind Eggs and commented:
    I suspect many writers deal with rage and anxiety when dealing with edits, especially the first few times they work with an editor. “This will ruin my book,” is a common response. “All that labor undermined by someone with no investment in my book/story!” (Male authors more than mothers with the experience of real labor to put things into perspective).

    The assumption is that editors aren’t as invested as you in the story. Guess what? They’re not. They’re invested in the reader’s experience of your story, something you easily lose sight of. Which makes them perfect for evaluating your work.

    If you’re under contract, get over your rage. You can either publish, make the changes or offer alternative changes. If you hired the editor, you don’t have to make any changes. You still owe them for the work.

    If you want readers and sales, it’s time to become a professional.

    Louise Jensen takes you through the process of recovering from rage and revising your work.

  2. Reblog fed on jessicanorrie.wordpress.com and commented “number 16 must surely be deal with copy edits and hangover at the same time. But the writer makes 15 good points here. Read and learn. Cheers!”

  3. This is hilariously real! When I was working on my thesis at university and my supervisor sent through her initial feedback, I felt like her notes went on longer than my novella! It felt like she was just adding insult to injury. Boy, was she right though! After countless rewrites and edits, the piece was greatly improved. But that still doesn’t make me like this cycle very much 🙂

  4. Great blog. I have been there with manuscript assessments. It is terrifying. I always buy pens and post it notes too. Then fail to use them.

Thanks so much for reading!

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