I have finally finished the structural edit of The FitzOsbornes at War, and have sent it off to my publishers, and now I feel like this:
(Except I’m not really feeling decadent, just exhausted.)
For those who aren’t sure what a structural edit is, the nice people at Alien Onion have provided a helpful explanation here. In the case of The FitzOsbornes at War, my editors (two of them, one in Australia and one in the United States) sent me a long letter full of questions and suggestions, such as:
Could you explain in more detail about Toby’s plan to do [mysterious thing]?
It would be good if there was a scene that actually showed Sophie doing [important thing], instead of her merely talking about it, three months later.
It’s great that Toby tells Sophie all about [shockingly awful thing], but how come she never mentions it in her journal ever again?
It would be nice if that Big Declaration of Love scene was even more romantic and soppy.
And, because my editors are very efficient, they also pointed out some smaller issues that usually fall into the area of copy-editing. For example, Toby’s birthday suddenly moved from March to February, and Sophie’s favourite dress became mysteriously longer over the course of a year. Oops! All fixed now.
The manuscript now goes off to the copy-editors, who will pore over it with their magnifying glasses and identify all my narrative inconsistencies, historical errors and convoluted sentences, so that I can fix those, too. Then the whole thing goes off to the typesetters, who print out proofs, which are then proof-read by everyone, including me. So, as you can see, the book is practically done!
I’ve also had a look at three potential covers for the Australian paperback edition of The FitzOsbornes at War. They are all beautiful, and I have sent off my feedback on each one. I thought the first was a tiny bit too modern, the second was a little too similar to the first two Montmaray Journals books, but the third was just right. Well, with a few tiny tweaks . . . Anyway, we shall see.
I’ve also just heard back from my American editor, who has already read the revised final chapter of the new draft and it made her cry! (Because it was so emotionally-involving and heart-rending, not because the writing was so bad that she regretted having ever signed up the book in the first place.) Yes! My job is done!