Fun Fact Friday – The Authors First Edit

The book you see is probably not the one that was originally written.  Close your mouth.  I get it.  The shock, the horror of it all. Try telling the author.  So the author sent out her/his book and it was accepted for publication.  One thing no one expects are the line-by-line edits that will be coming.

Like me for instance.  At first I stared at the computer screen for what seemed like forever in complete horror.  My mouth was gaping open – until a fly attempted to land there anyway.  After quickly and frantically scrolling through the edits I uttered the phrase “she killed my baby.”   So it was a little over dramatic.  It was none the less my initial reaction to my first manuscripts first line-by-line editing experience.

I have to say a huge thanks to the authors for sharing their stories as well.  Click on each name for contact information and past Fun Fact Friday Blog Posts.  If this doesn’t tell you how much every experience is different, I don’t know what will.Kelly Hashway  Feel free to secretly hate the authors that say their edits weren’t ‘that bad.” 🙂


Kelly Hashway: My first ever editorial letter sent me into a full on panic. My lovely editor told me to stock up on chocolate before I started on my edits. Of course I thought that meant I was in for major rewrites and lots of hair pulling. But when I opened the document, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yes, there were comments galore, and most elicited thoughts of, “how am I supposed to do that?!” Okay, maybe I pulled out some hair after all. But in the end, it was worth it. My editor’s comments were spot on.


Denise Moncrief:  My first real line edit was done by the wonderfully talented AJ Nuest. I expectedDenise Moncriefd a thorough edit, but I didn’t expect how it would make me feel. Like my writerly feelings had been thoroughly pummeled! For two days, I rambled around the house muttering things like… “Who does she thinks she is?” and “Why did she change that?” and “What does she mean by blah, blah, blah?” It’s never easy to take criticism, no matter how constructive it is. I sucked up my pride and worked through those edits. That first line edit was an intense experience but well worth it, because my story is stronger for the attention to detail she invested in it.


Jennifer Eaton: “My first reaction?  “What the heck is this chic smoking?”  (After  cutting the middle of a scene completely out.)”jack-jill-volume-one-cover


on with the showLinda Carroll-Bradd “My reaction may be different

than some because I’d spent years in critique groups and was used to seeing comments made on my writing projects.

But I do remember being surprised when point of view mistakes were pointed out because I’d thought I had that craft issue nailed (this was 7 years ago). I thought the editor had to be wrong. Of course, as I read the comments, I saw the words or phrase where I’d inadvertently shifted POV and vowed not to make that mistake again.”
Jamie Ayers: “Don’t kill me . . . but my edits weren’t that bad. I was just really, really confused about how to do the track changes, lol. So I panicked about that!18 things

However, the first time I had someone seriously critique my work, I thought about punching them in the face the next time I saw them. Then, I thought, nope, I’ll get sued and I’m a teacher so that’s no good. I settled for taping their image to my dart board instead ;-)”

6 thoughts on “Fun Fact Friday – The Authors First Edit

  1. Kiersi says:

    Ha! Everyone reacts differently. We get better at getting those editorial letters the more books we write, I think. My editorial letter was scary at first, but the suggestions and changes were so right on that I’m grateful I got them.

    • M. Ziegler says:

      Agreed. Everyone reacts very differently. One person might think their edits weren’t that bad and had horrible self confidence while another person got the same edits and thought they were the worst ever. Still not sure how I feel just yet.

  2. Kelly Hashway says:

    I want to add that every editor is different, too, so editorial letters can be very different. I had one that was all content because it required lots of rewriting. That one left me with a few more gray hairs. 😉

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