Okay, let’s break down, honestly, the editing process when you are getting your stuff ready for the real world. Others have said similar things before, but I’m saying it again as I am right at step #7.
1. The first draft is finally finished after lots of angst and hard work. I think it stinks, the plot sucks, the characters are even worse, and it’s time to go back to the day job.
2. I leave it alone for a few weeks, then sneak back very tentatively and peak at the first page. It doesn’t suck as bad as I thought so I read on and realize, well it’s okay at least.
3. I revise and get it to the point where I think, hey, this is actually the best one I’ve written so far.
4. It gets sent off to the beta readers with high hopes that comments will flood in on how perfect and wonderful the story is.
5. Days pass. Doubts creep in.
6. Comments come back. In this case, one of my favorites included this: 2, 4, 13, 26, 53, etc. for a long list of numbers which translate to pages with typos I somehow missed. Some comments ask basic plot questions that I can’t answer because I never thought of that – why does the protagonist come home? A lot of comments show structure issues.
7. I regress to step #1, with the added drama that it’s going to take so much work to revise I might as well toss the whole thing, give up, and move on to something else. (this is where I’m at today)
8. Eventually I laugh at myself (this always happens so these following steps are listed as coming from past experience), take the easiest comments to deal with first (probably will be the list of page numbers) and start editing.
9. The realization sinks in that, wow, these changes are making the story much stronger.
10. The edits are done, there’s a final beta reader review, and hey, this is the best one I’ve written yet!
11. The book goes out to the world and I start on the next one, and then…
12. I find typos after publication.
I imagine there are a few of you out there that can relate.