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Reader Question: Editing before querying

How many edits did you go through before deciding ‘Give Up The Ghost’ was ready for agent eyes?

If we’re counting an “edit” as a revision big enough for me to create a new file for it (which I usually do for each draft, both because of my habit of rewriting rather than just editing and because I want to have the old stuff in case I realize I took something out that maybe I shouldn’t have), then the answer would be approximately 4 and 1/3.

The 1/3 is the original version of the story, that stalled (as you might guess) a third of the way through. I’d written myself into a corner I didn’t like, and I couldn’t figure out what to do instead. So the story sat for about nine months percolating in my head.

Then I tried again, and made it through the whole first draft. Woohoo! :) As usual, I knew there were plenty of problems with the rough draft, so I rewrote it without showing it to anyone, fixing the things I knew needed fixing. I sent that second draft to my crit partners, who pointed out all the things I hadn’t realized needed fixing. I did another rewrite. Then I printed out that third draft and marked it up with red pen (I find it hard to do line-edits on a computer screen). The draft after line-editing (fourth) is the one I sent to agents.

And that’s pretty standard process for me, in terms of when I think a book is ready for professional eyes, though it does vary a bit from book to book.

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
lisa_schroeder
Jul. 8th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Just saw your deal in the Children's PW bookshelf!! You need to share your great news with us and give us all the gory details.

Congratulations - sounds like BIG things are happening with a film agent and another auction for audio rights. Wow!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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