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.’

I’ve finished my copy edits!



It’s been such a learning curve navigating my way through the editorial process for the first time. Lydia, my editor, has been a dream to work with on my structural and line edits, so when I discovered I’d be working with someone different for my copy edits I felt a little daunted.

This time, when the manuscript pinged back into my in-box I was prepared for the flurry of red lines. My coffee, chocolate hobnobs and tissues for my tears were lined up ready on my desk. Ok, maybe not the tissues, but the biscuits are part of my essential writers tool-kit.

Skimming the document through the first time I breathed a sigh of relief to find most of the highlights related to punctuation, my English teacher would hang his head at the common errors I’d made, but seeing where I’d gone wrong will help me make book two tighter.

By now, I’d read my manuscript so many times I thought there couldn’t possibly be any issues with continuity….I was wrong. Twice I’d referenced an event that happened in a chapter I’d cut months before.

It was also pointed out I pair concrete nouns with abstract nouns which led to much Googling as I’d never heard of either!

All in all, it’s been another enjoyable step on the journey to publication and I can’t wait to get it back from the typesetter now and give it a final proof read.

The Sister‘ is so very nearly finished.