From February through July of 2017, I spent the majority of my time (read: 60 hour work weeks) editing my first novel.
"What?" you say, dumbfounded. "You need to edit this thing now? But...but you already wrote it! What else is there to do?!"
The amount of times I've heard this is astronomical. And each time is very, very wrong.
Turns out there was quite a lot I needed to do. And then do it again. Because that's kinda how this "editing" thing works. And so here's the cold, hard truth. Ready?
Editing is like Disney World.
(Full disclosure: I can make a Disney comparison out of almost anything, so this should surprise no one.)
Editing is like Disney World, but it's not necessarily the happy, slightly-less-crowded-than-usual, I-got-Fast-Pass-on-all-my-favorite-rides, it-didn't-rain-once-during-our-trip Disney World. Editing is hot, humid, strollers everywhere, lines-two-hours-long Disney World.
More specifically, editing is like the time I dragged my dad on Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. (He didn't really want to go, but he didn't want to make me ride alone.) Everything was going dandy until the roller coaster started moving (spoiler alert if you haven't ridden it) backwards. Down hill. In the dark. I loved it, but when it was over he looked like he just saw all 999 ghosts that frolick throughout the Haunted Mansion ride. Safe to say he wasn't a fan.
That's editing. You're terrified that everything is awful half the time, but you triumph and get through it in the end. (Hopefully you're less shaken than my dad.)
And yet, it's actually really important to note that Disney World, though sometimes hot and crowded and full of rides that make you a little queasy, is still Disney World - and thus probably still better than a host of other places.
Editing, though at times grueling, is still a wonderful privilege. The team at Swoon Reads is so encouraging and determined to make every book the best it can be. (Shout-out to my editor Emily, who gives such great suggestions! She's got some serious superpowers.) ;)
I don't want to sugarcoat it. I was pretty nervous about editing this book. It's tough to take something that you slaved over for years and reorder scenes, add scenes, delete scenes, and make it all make sense. It's like ripping apart a puzzle and then realizing you lost a piece. (And then finding it hidden face down under a chair; the missing puzzle piece is always hidden under a chair.) It's being told, "I love this! But...you need to work on it some more."
And some more.
And some more.
But here's the truth again: My entire editing experience has been ridiculously rewarding. And at the risk of using ridiculous a ridiculous amount of times...I'm ridiculously proud of how far this story has come (with the Swoon team's help of course!) The Everest-sized mountain of edit notes isn't as frightening when you have great people to help you scale it...
But...I'm positive my dad will never ride the real Expedition Everest ever again. Oops.