Wednesday, May 30, 2018

1 WoW Weds: Molly E Lee on Revisions

Today, I am so excited to welcome Entangled Teen author, Molly E. Lee, with a guest post on a topic that is near and dear to my heart: revisions. I am personally fascinated by other authors' revision processes and always love to get more insight. Stay tuned after the post for a bit more about Molly and her book, LOVE BEYOND OPPOSITES.

Handling Revisions
by Molly E. Lee 

Hi! Thank you so much for having me here to talk about handling revisions! I’m so excited to discuss this because it’s always a learning process and we had some significant revisions that happened before LOVE BEYOND OPPOSITES (the final standalone in the Grad Night series) was published J

I will kick off this discussion by stating that every single writer handles revisions/edits differently. In that regard, every editor has a different style too! I’ve been so incredibly blessed to work with several amazing editors—and each one of them has different tools they like to use when helping to sharpen whichever manuscript I’ve handed in to them! 

Today, my focus will be on giving you some tips to help handle the revisions. It can be a daunting process and I’ve been on both sides of it. As a freelance editor, a pitch wars mentor, and as an author. I want to give you pieces of what I’ve learned that will hopefully help ease the stress that can come from a massive overhaul on a book you’ve worked on for weeks or months or years.

Tip 1: Breathe.
            The minute that manuscript comes in—the one you poured your heart and soul into—and now it’s cluttered with tracked changes and tons of comment boxes on the side…well, it can be heart shattering. 

Don’t let it be! 

Take a deep breath and take a couple days to process the changes. I like to write all the major changes down in a notebook and think on them. When they are separate from the entire manuscript they are much easier to manage.

Tip 2: Plan of action.
            Process the changes in chunks. Fix the ones you agree with immediately and leave the bigger changes for last. This will ease you into the groove of editing and by the time you get to the more in-depth changes you’ll be ready to rock.

Tip 3:   Absorb the info.
            Some authors cringe at in-depth edits and that is a totally normal reaction. For me (after ensuring I’ve taken my two days to breathe) I find I enjoythe edits. I know this sounds insane but hear me out.

An editor—someone who has fortified themselves in this business and does this for a living—has taken on your project and applied everything she/he has ever learned to your manuscript. It’s like having this wicked awesome Jedi Master training you in the ways of the force or having Dumbledore take you under his wing and teach you ALL the cool spells. Okay, yes, I’m a total nerd and super proud of it—but it’s true with editors! They wouldn’t take the time to put the work in if they didn’t believe in your talent. So, take the gift they’ve offered you and learn from it. File away the issues found in the manuscript and be aware of it when you sit down to write the next one. Regardless of genres, things you learn from edits on one book will help you in another. I’ve learned things from my contemporary edits and applied them to fantasy books. It’s all about developing your craft—which never stops in this business.

Tip 4: Pick your battles.
            Considering the above, I’m not saying you have to accept every single change suggested. It depends on you and the editor’s relationship—there are several times I’ve literally agreed with everything my editor said. It was like the second she pointed out an issue, I had that “ah-ha” moment and was pumped she saw it when I couldn’t. Then, there were times I was so legit confused by a suggestion that I had to mark it and have a brainstorm session with her later. Together we were able to hash out what needed to be done.

I know the urge to reject everything from anyone who comes at your book is natural and strong—this is your book baby and it’s perfect! 

But, the truth is, it’s likely not. 

You know who is in your corner and wants it to be perfect for publication? 
Your editor. 

They are just as invested in your book as you are—they took it on for a reason—and they want to give you and your project the best possible chance in a world full of so many stellar books available! 

So, be sure to pick those battles, be sure your heart is screaming against a change and you have the reasoning to back it up. If you want something to notchange, or a scene to notbe cut, then back it up with why it is crucial to the story or character. Nine times out of ten they will listen and you’ll find a common ground together.

Tip 5: Respect and Gratitude.
            These are super important things to remember when working on a project together with an editor. 

Writing a book is like imprinting on the pages—I understand how hard it is to hand that beloved manuscript over to someone else to tear up and put back together again. But that is what this business is all about. Collaboration and mutual respect. The editor who chose your book did so for a reason—they fell in love with your project and wanted to work with you. That is such a huge and wonderful step! And, like I mentioned above, if you pay attention and take notes, the things you’ll learn will only make you a better writer in the end.

So, gratitude. 
Be grateful they’re invested in the work enough to want to make it sparkle in a sea of amazing books. 
Be grateful they love your characters enough to challenge them.
Be grateful that you’ve got someone in your corner who is rooting for you to succeed. Because in this competitive, amazing, fantastically hard business…having someone there who understands where your book started and where it is when it ends up on the shelf…is absolutely priceless.

Tip 6: Also. Brownies.
            They help make line edits easier…or maybe that’s just me J

Thanks for having me! I hope you found these helpful! If you ever want to chat about this or anything at all find me at any of the links below!

Molly E. Lee is an author and editor best known for her debut novel EDGE OF CHAOS, and as a fourth year mentor at Pitch Wars - a program which connects promising writers to established authors in the community. Molly writes New Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.


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If high school has taught mathlete Jade Aaron anything, it's that nerds never get the guy.

So when rock star Lennon Pryor starts pursuing her, It's not rocket science. This doesn't add up.

I mean, sure, he's hot.

And charming.

And a god on the guitar...

But he's also the world's biggest player. Being with him would be a bigger mistake than 2+2=5.

Until graduation night, when a reckless moment leads to a reckless kiss. And now Jade's falling for the one guy destined to break her heart.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two opposites with nothing in common and nothing to lose...except their hearts.


1 comment:

  1. This is a good post to share with my writing classes. Thanks!


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