Line Edits


Thanks to everyone who entered the ORIGIN contest. The winner was Amanda P! I’ll be having interviews and giveaways with each of the Breathless Reads fall authors, so stay tuned!

This is an exciting week for my writing friends!

First: Andrea Lynn Colt’s debut book, TORCHED, is out today! It’s a fantastic contemporary mystery with a great romance full of banter (I love banter). I’m going to post an interview with Andrea tomorrow, but you should check out her website for more info on TORCHED. (It’s only $3.99 on Kindle or Nook. Awesome deal, I promise!)

Second: Robin Talley wants your help picking an author photo. If you’re like me and you love seeing author photos (and voting in polls), go here! Robin’s book LIES WE TELL OURSELVES recently sold to Harlequin Teen. I got to read an early draft and it is amazing and she’s definitely an author to watch! The PM announcement describes the book as: set in 1959 Virginia at the height of desegregation, in which two girls — one of the first black students in her town to attend a previously all-white school, and the white daughter of the town’s most vocal opponent of integration — are forced to work together and to confront not only their limited notions about race and politics, but also deeper truths about themselves.

Third: Have you seen the gorgeous, wistful trailer for Tiffany Schmidt’s SEND ME A SIGN? It just premiered over at Mundie Moms today! We all know trailers can be very hit or miss, but I love this one. SMaS will be out Oct 2 and I can’t wait to read it!

As for me, I’m slaving away at line edits on STAR CURSED. I love this phase but it involves a lot of tinkering that takes forever. Example: there were 92 notes from Amazing Editor Ari in the first two chapters (forty pages). This is the stage where my editor asks questions like: What does this room look like? Where is she standing? What is she doing with her hands? Describe her expression! What do the people in the crowd look like? This kind of layering makes the book feel much more vivid, but it’s hard work, especially if (like me) you aren’t a terribly visual person. And the surrounding text has often been there for months, so every new sentence can feel strange and wrong even when it’s not (it’s just new). Consequently, I can fuss with one sentence for a good ten minutes.. This is also when my editor cuts conversations that drag on too long, interior monologue that gets repetitive, details that aren’t important to the story. Accepting those changes are easy enough. I go through and do that first, and I almost always accept her cuts, because she is smart. I tend to know immediately when I don’t want to because it’s something I feel adds important detail about a character. At the end of line edits, I turn off the editing marks and do a close read of my own for word choice and to make sure everything flows the way I want it to. (I can still change things in copyedits, but I try not to.) So, that’s what I’ll be doing for the next ten days!

On the reading front, I finished rereading my old Lois Duncan books (STRANGER WITH MY FACE, DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU, SUMMER OF FEAR, and THE THIRD EYE) and promptly ordered more. They’re such fun, quick reads. Next up I’ve got DOWN A DARK HALL, DAUGHTERS OF EVE, and TRAPPED IN TIME. My goal for this afternoon is: line edit two chapters (which involves writing one new scene) and as a reward, I get to read DOWN A DARK HALL on the porch in this gorgeous Autumn weather with tea and chocolate chip biscotti!

6 Responses

  1. This is a really interesting read, I always love to hear about writers’ creative processes. And I love your passion and enthusiasm for all the books you read. You are inspiring, Jess. Me and my mom can’t wait for Star Cursed. xo

  2. I'm not visual at all either, and yep, my editor and critique partners are always like, wait, so what does this person look like? And what do these rooms look like? I always just want to skip ahead to the tasty bits like dialogue!

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