EDITS – that is a word that can strike fear into most authors, I think! At least it does to me. And yet, they’re hardly ever as bad as I think they’re going to be.
I’ve had critique partners for years and although I greatly value their comments and input, I’ve learned not to take every single thing they say as gospel. Instead, I look at what they tell me and decide whether I agree that they have a valid point or not. If they do, I rewrite, if not, I don’t. Easy, right? Except, what if I’m wrong?
When it comes to professional editors, I’ve worked with quite a few now and they all have their idiosyncrasies. So however much I try to anticipate their comments and corrections, there’s always something I get wrong. Usually, it’s little things though and easily fixed.
The worst part is waiting for the initial report – the editors I’ve worked with send me a report with their overall comments and outline the major edits I need to do. This is always a bit of a ‘gulp’ moment – you have to take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this, really you can. But sometimes it seems pretty daunting. For example, in my latest novel, New England Rocks, I had my heroine playing baseball until Rachel (my editor for this book) pointed out that it was autumn term (or fall semester, as it’s set in the US) and no one played baseball in autumn/fall! After a brief panic moment, I decided it could be changed to soccer and somehow, it was. Something like that can really throw you if you let it.
The thing with being an author though is that you can always come up with some way of fixing things – you are the creator, so you just send your characters down a different route and hopefully make it better. I’m naturally a ‘pantser’ anyway, which means that I often write myself into a corner since I’m not always sure what’s going to happen next and just kind of go with the flow. So I’m used to having to come up with solutions. I never realised that this could come in handy for edits too until I had to do them. (Before you’re a published author, you tinker with your manuscript continuously, but that’s different – it’s because you want to, not because someone else has asked you to).
New England Rocks was a new experience for me in more ways than one – not only was it my first YA romance (until now, I’ve always stuck to historicals and time slip stories for adults), but because it was such a different story, I hadn’t actually shown this one to my critique partners. In fact, until I sent it to my editor, no one except me had seen it! That made it doubly scary waiting for the edits, but luckily they weren’t so bad, apart from that baseball/soccer mistake.
I’ve found that the best approach is to divide the edits up into smaller chunks and put them in the order they need to be changed in the book. That way it seems more manageable somehow and I can go through it methodically, ticking each point off as I rewrite. Works for me!
First impressions, how wrong can you get?
When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment.
Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin …
Jesse is the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen and he plays guitar in an awesome rock band!
There’s just one small problem … Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse grow closer.
But, what does it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around …
Christina's favorite quote from the book:
"Rain waited to see who her soccer partner would be. She didn’t know anyone, so didn’t really care. To her annoyance, however, a familiar voice sounded from behind her. ‘I’ll do Rain.’ She swivelled round and came face to face with Jesse, while the rest of the team started laughing at the double meaning of his words.
‘You wish. Are you following me around or something?’
‘Of course, Ice Girl. It’s my mission in life, don’t you know?’ He smiled at her in that aggravating way that made her have to take a deep breath, then he nodded towards the field. ‘Come on, let’s go. I want to see what you can do.’
‘I bet you do,’ she muttered and followed him onto the field."
Published by Choc Lit and available internationally in paperback and various ebook formats.
Visit Christina's website and blog, check out her books at Goodreads, and connect with her via social media on facebook and twitter.
Christina lives in London and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.
In 2011 Christina’s debut, Trade Winds, was short listed for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Pure Passion Award of Best Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Scarlet Kimono won the Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award. In 2012 Highland Storms won the Best Historical Romantic Novel of the year award and her fourth novel, The Silent Touch of Shadows, won the Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance.