Karin Baine lives in Northern Ireland with her husband, two sons, and her out-of-control notebook collection. Her Mother and Grandmother's vast collection of books inspired her love of reading and her dream of becoming a Harlequin Mills & Boon® author. It wasn't until she joined her critical group UCW that she started to believe she could actually write – and only her husband's support enabled her to pursue it. At least now she can tell people she has a proper job!
Tackling Revisions – Karin Baine
It doesn’t matter what stage your writing career is at, when you get that email attachment from an editor with suggested revisions your heart always skips a beat. Being faced with pages of changes to the story you’ve slaved over for weeks, or months, can be intimidating and often it’s difficult to know where to start. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve opened an attachment and closed it again without even reading it because I’m scared to look!
I’m no expert but with ten medical romances published with Harlequin/Mills&Boon I’m going to share my process with you on tackling those dreaded revisions.
First, make sure you read the notes thoroughly and give yourself time to digest your editor’s comments. It can be just as tempting to jump straight in and get the changes back ASAP as it is to put them off but try to find a happy medium. Your editor doesn’t want to wait weeks for you to get back to them but equally, there’s no point rushing and not doing a thorough job.
After reading revisions through I immediately print them out and highlight all the key points. It’s easier to see them at a glance this way, especially if you have a notice board to pin them to. I also find it helpful to separate the comments into things my editor did, or didn’t, like. This means not only condensing the notes into easier to manage sections, but it also provides a list of positives to look back on when feeling discouraged!
It can take several read throughs of your manuscript to cover all the points raised and to make sure any changes haven’t affected your timeline but it’s important to check and save yourself another round of revisions. Of course, if there are certain things you disagree with you can raise these but the important thing to remember is that an editor wants to work with you to write the best possible book you can.
All the hard work will be worth it in the end.