Truest: An Editing Timeline

A lot a lot a LOT of work goes into writing a novel. Here’s what went into the writing of Truest, my debut novel. Please note that when I say “editing” or “revising,” I am not referring to correcting grammar and typos but rather things like adding storylines, beefing up characters, changing the structure of the novel, writing new scenes, etc.

Broken pencil fragments on yellow paper
January-June 2012:
first draft
June-December 2012: self-edits, assisted by my local writing group
December 2012: hired a local editor to do developmental edits
January-March 2013: frantic revisions/re-structuring* based on editor’s feedback
March 2013: attended Big Sur Writing Workshop for additional editing help
March-April 2013: more editing based on Big Sur feedback
April 2013: hired local editor again for line edits
April-July 2013: line editing
July 2013: signed with a literary agent and made major (and difficult) revisions based on my agent’s feedback
November 2013: literary agent sold my book to Harper
February-September 2014: re-structuring* and MAJOR, MAJOR revisions based on my editor’s feedback

After this will come copyediting. 🙂

And, let me tell you, it was all worth it. I love the characters and the story and the plot so much more than I could have ever imagined back when the idea first was born.

*The original draft had a chronological timeline. The local editor suggested I change it to a back-and-forth past-and-present timeline; I had six weeks to completely re-structure it before Big Sur. Then, later, my HarperCollins editor asked me to change it back to chronological order. She also gave me six weeks for the re-structuring.