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Jenny Schwartz on Revisions and Giveaway!

Australian author Jenny Schwartz has an upcoming new release from Escape Publishing and I invited her to share how she handled the revisions. Her book, Drawing Closer is a contemporary novella set in beautiful, seaside Western Australia city of Fremantle.

Jenny around the web:

Website      Facebook         Twitter

But Jenny came with a Giveaway, so now over to Jenny on how she handled her revisions ...

With a good editor, revisions are the best part of writing. I know that’s a big call. The enthusiasm and energy of the first draft is hard to be beat, but I love getting glimpses of my story through an editor’s eyes.

Nas, I can’t thank you enough for being a wonderful editor; not only tactfully pointing out flaws and offering suggestions, but taking the time to explain the rules of grammar and lighten the gruesome bits with encouraging words.
 
(Thank you for you kind remarks Jenny. You were also a pleasure to work with. Yes, now I can say that I was the editor of Jenny's Drawing Closer.)

So how do I tackle revisions?

First I take note of any time commitments, i.e. when are the edits due? Then I read the editor’s overall feedback. That gives me a sense of what to expect by way of work that needs doing. Only then do I open the MS.

The “comments” feature in Microsoft Word is a lifesaver. It’s the first thing I look at. I have a quick scroll through the editor’s comments and that lets me assess how substantive the edits are. Then I can estimate time and energy and reshuffle my schedule accordingly. I email my editor with an expected return-time for the edits.

When I sit down to tackle the edits I use the “track changes” feature to move through the MS, accepting or rejecting changes, and occasionally adding a comment to explain my thinking. Sometimes the comment will be something frivolous or simply a thank you with a smiley face for a really good suggestion. No one said revisions couldn’t be fun!

That’s the first run-through and it deals with the relatively easy changes. Along the way I scribble notes on more substantive edits which I need to stop and think about. I put these next to a page number so I can go back and address them carefully. These are the changes that need to be made in the context of a broader reading of the MS. I make sure they’re coherent with the overall development of the story and that they don’t contradict or challenge the pacing of surrounding text.

This is the point where reading the MS from beginning to end makes sense. Sometimes your voice can change. If you wrote the story a while back and have written something quite different since, you need to get back into the vibe of the story.

After a final run-through, I send the MS back to the editor. There can be a quick bounce back if I haven’t quite nailed some of the changes. Then we tackle line edits (especially pesky words that appear too often within a couple of paragraphs of each other) and copy edits and breathe a huge sigh of happiness. The revisions are done!

 

 Drawing Closer
Back Blurb


Zoe Loyola has a secret. Just between her and her sketchbook, she loves sculptor Nick Gordon. Her drawings of him are hot and naked.
Nick has a secret, too. He’s being blackmailed. Protecting his family means ignoring his desire for Zoe.
But in the world of art, passion breaks every rule and secrets are made for sharing.


Buy Links:

Amazon 

Please Add To Your Goodreads


Drawing Closer would release on the 10th of December 2012 by Escape Publishing. Congratulations Jenny on the upcoming release!

67 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny and Nas, it is good to read this article as I've just started editing. I got to edit a piece of work lately and I really felt the author would hate me because I made so many revisions. But surprisingly, the author's feedback showed she was pleased, so that was a relief.

    Congratulations on your new release, Jenny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maria, I'm always grateful for an editor's revisions. Whether I agree or disagree with each one isn't the point - they help me see the story through your eyes, and that's priceless.

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    2. Welcome to Romance Reader, Jenny! I hope you would enjoy chatting with my friends here!

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    3. Hi Maria,

      Congratulations on your editing projects! I know you did great work for our mutual friend and Editor Serena Tatti.

      I hope you got some insights from an author's point of view by reading this post!

      Delete
    4. Yes, Nas, I enjoyed this post so much because I really needed to know this information. Thanks too for your kind words - much appreciated.

      Delete
  2. Wow! I love that blurb! Interesting!
    Congrats Jenny!

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    Replies
    1. Michelle, thank you! Hope the story lives up to the blurb's promise :)

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    2. Hi Michelle,

      The story is a short, fast and fun yet engaging read! I hope you get to read it as you'll be sure to enjoy!

      Delete
  3. Hi Nas and Jenny .. congratulations to you both .. one as author and one has editor .. and I'd love to read about Fremantle .. learn about the countryside too ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary

      I hope you fall in love with Fremantle! It's very loveable :) It's also where next year's Romance Writers of Australia conference will be held -- I'm so looking forward to (finally) meeting everyone there. So Fremantle (Freo as the locals call it) is a special place.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the congratulations, Hilary! I also wish to visit Fremantle in the near future or maybe for next years RWA Australia Conference!

      Delete
  4. Interesting post, Jenny! And congratulations on your new release! I'm awaiting edits on book two of my series right now so this post was very a propos! Like you, I move from the easy stuff to the bigger stuff. Seems to work for me that way.

    Hi Nas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anna, I think if I tried to tackle the big stuff first, I'd panic and go scrub the bathroom instead :) Thanks for dropping in.

      Delete
    2. Hi Anna!

      Congratulations on your latest release The Winter Wife, A Christmas Novella!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  5. Revisions feel so good to do because you KNOW you're making your book better.
    Congrats on your new release, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emily,

      You've hit the nail on the head! Thanks for swinging by!

      Delete
  6. Revisions are definitely worth it! I love using track changes too. It makes things so much easier to keep track of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cherie

      I've never had "paper" revisions where changes were made by hand and snail-mailed back to an editor. I can't imagine not having the track changes feature.

      That said, if I was an editor, I'd be missing the chance to get out the red pen and ink all over the page -- good thing Nas and not me is the editor :) She's nicer!

      Delete
    2. Aww Jenny! Thanks for saying I'm nicer, but I did change my editing font colour to red!

      Thanks Cherie,

      It's really hard to imagine editing and revisions without Track Changes! Imagine, printed out pages, and red pen!

      Delete
  7. Sounds like an awesome story!! :)

    I haven't had the chance to work with an editor yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for letting us know how it all works! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jemi, fingers crossed for you that your first editor is awesome! I've been blessed with kind editors who helped me find my revising feet, so to speak :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Jemi!

      I do hope you would find a good editor for when you submit! Or try a professional Editor before you submit. It may be the difference between published and being unpublished by the way ms is polished by them.

      Delete
  8. Fascinating! I'm not a writer, but I am an English teacher, so I enjoyed reading about this. And Nas, I didn't know you were an editor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelley!

      Surprise, surprise! Life keeps on evolving!

      Thanks Jenny!

      Delete
  9. I always enjoy hearing how others tackle revisions. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your book! The blurb is great. I'll be checking it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cherie. Like you, I enjoy hearing about other writers' habits...it was a bit daunting though trying to wrestle mine down into a coherent post :)

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    2. Thanks for coming by Cherie.

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  10. Such an interesting post! I enjoy working with my editor, too. Nice to meet you.

    And Nas, congrats on editing what sounds like a great book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to meet you, too, Carol :)

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    2. Thanks Carol! It is a great read and I enjoyed working with Jenny on it!

      Delete
  11. I love good editors. They are treasures.

    The book sounds great, Nas. Glad I learned about it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clee, I'll second that. Nas, you're officially a treasure :)

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    2. Awww ... Jenny! Thanks for saying so!

      Thanks Lee! Drawing Closer is a great read in a short pack! It has hot hero, strong heroine, love, passion, romance, blackmail and art!

      Delete
  12. Love the cover and blurb.

    Jenny didn't mention how much chocolate she consumes during the process. :)

    Thanks for the great post, Jenny. I've never tried accepting or declining edits in tracker. I flip back and forth between documents, but that's because I don't trust that I won't screw something up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stina, the cover is so gorgeous I'm still pinching myself :)

      It took me a little bit to become confident using track changes, but now I can't imagine not using it.

      And um ... looks around guiltily for chocolate wrapper evidence ... there was no chocolate consumed during Nas's revisions :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Stina!

      Thanks for coming by! The Cover Gods smiled at Jenny for Drawing Closer's cover! Love the rugged hero.

      Stina, it's easy when you get used to it. Just try accepting and rejecting in a document and see.

      Delete
  13. Yes! I love working with good editors as well.
    My goodness, that's an awesome cover by the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the apparent simplicity of the cover. Lots of drama there. Thanks for dropping in, Lynda

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    2. I also like the 'ethereal' feel to the cover!

      Thanks Lynda.(Another Australian Writer)

      Delete
  14. Hi Jenny & Nas, congratulations. The cover is stunning and the blurb is certainly intriguing. Can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the congrats and for coming by, Nicole!

      Delete
  15. A good editor is worth their weight in gold. Congrats on the upcoming release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelley!

      Thanks for saying so! And I'm glad that you came by to read this post!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Shelley, and you're so right!

      Delete
  16. I am still of the old school, in that I do my final edit from the printed page. Yes, I use "track changes" in Word (and love it for looking up how I originally had it, etc.), but for some reason it is easier (at least for me) to sit away from my computer, usually at the dining room table, and read the pages from start to finish. I "don't see" as many changes to be made on the monitor, nor do I "feel the rhythm" there - but I do when I can spread my pages across the table, if necessary. It is easier for me to go back and forth between pages (instead of scrolling back and forth on the computer) to make sure I was not repetitive, etc. (although the computer is nice for its "find" feature at those times too).
    I guess I should note that I don't write books (although my relatives might argue that, based on my long emails and years-ago letters, LOL). I have a typing business, so I've typed dozens of books, amongst other things, and I've edited galore for almost 30 years now. Yes, one of those "pesky" things is indeed "words that appear too often within a couple of paragraphs of each other" - but they are understandable if there are interruptions in an author's train of thought (like taking time away to make supper, finally sleep, or even get dressed).
    Thanks for a delightful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laney

      I loved reading how you do your final edit. And when you started at first, you must have been using a manual typewriter as well?

      Thanks for sharing your process!

      Delete
    2. Laney, I'm going wildly off-topic, but your pup in your avatar is gorgeous. What a cutie.

      I learned to type on a manual typewriter ... argh! my little finger twitches just at the thought of hitting the return bar on a cold morning :)

      Delete
    3. Hi Nas!
      Yes, I learned on a Remington manual typerwriter in the early seventies. My sister had been a teacher but moved far away and would have had to have started over, so she raised her first baby while typing on an electric typewriter. I stayed with her from the weekend I graduated Grade 8 (at 13) until Labour Day weekend in September, and I typed her recipes on "recipe cards" on that manual (sitting on her coffee table). I decided then I wanted to be a secretary, as I KNEW I could work from home when *I* had children - and I did exactly that.

      Hi Jenny!
      The indeed-gorgeous pup in my avatar was Austin. I dogsat him for a few years, until he died in May/11 at a week shy of 14 years of age. He probably was about 10 or 11 in that picture. I can't bear to change my avatar; I still miss him. We dogsat another golden retriever this past summer - a pup this time - and it was like having a 2-year-old to run after in the house! I was exhausted, LOL! That pup will be moving far away from here, so I doubt I'll ever dogsit her again. I must say that I have found goldens (that I have known) have been quite intelligent!
      As for the manual typewriter, I wonder if that is part of the reason for the arthritis in my joints closest to my fingernails now....

      Delete
    4. Laney, I'm sure you miss Austin. I have a golden, Toby. I've never known such a smoochie people dog. And they learn fast!

      Delete
  17. I enjoyed reading about your revision process. It's great when you have a knowledgable and helpful editor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sherry,

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    2. Sherry, you're absolutely right ... it's not my process, but having an editor I can trust, that makes revisions enjoyable.

      Delete
  18. Hi Nas! Hi Jenny! The more we learn about rewrites the better. It sounds like you two worked well together. I'm sure the finished product sparkles! Congratulations! D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely sparkles -- Nas insisted ;)

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  19. Just scrolling through other comments and see Laney 4's comment. There is a school of thought which says to print out your whole novel when you finish and do your first edits from there. I rarely do this but I intend to do it with my current novel. I adore Track Changes and use it with my senior literature students all the time and also as a Critique Partner for many writers it is the absolute best tool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never printed out a whole novel ... hmm

      Bad though I am at critiquing, I don't know if I could manage it at all without track changes.

      Delete
    2. Hi Denise!

      Imagine having to print out 200 plus pages and edit with red pen. I wouldn't know what to do without the tracking feature in word.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  20. Great tips, Jenny. Revisions do my head it - sometimes they can seem endless. But the end result is always worth the effort!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what I keep in mind - I can see the story getting better :) Thanks for dropping in, Talli

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    2. Hi Talli!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Delete
  21. Thanks for detailing your process! I'd like to get more comfortable using Word's feature. I'm still stuck in paper and red pen mode!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love red pens! but I'm really glad I embraced Word's track changes feature. The fact that you can add comments is awesome...and unlike my handwritten scrawl, people can actually read them :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Deniz,

      I can't even imagine being without the tracking feature.

      Thansk for dropping by!

      Delete

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