From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: Update on OPPRESSION

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic:
What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic Jams and detours? Where are you going next?

What a fun topic this Wednesday! I've been wanting to give an update on the status of OPPRESSION. It's getting close...

For those of you who haven't been following my blog, OPPRESSION is book one of my YA series CHILDREN OF THE GODS. It is being published by ZOVA Books and will be available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. in regular old book form and as an e-book this February.

Over the past few months I've been consumed by the editing process. I'm not sure what other authors go through, but I imagine it's something similar to my experience. When I signed with ZOVA I assumed the publishing process went a little something like this:

Publisher: "You're book is amazing. We want to publish it."
Publisher: "Everything looks perfect. We'll fix all the little mistakes and get it in stores ASAP. Just sit back and watch the magic."
Me: "No problem. I'll just start writing the next one. See you in 8 months!"

Wow, right? I'm a bit of a dreamer, I know. Needless to say, that is NOT how it goes. After all the time you've slaved over that precious manuscript of yours (thinking all the while it is as perfect as anyone could make it) get ready for more work.

This is how it really goes:

Step One: Content Edits - So you remember that supposedly flawless manuscript you've slaved over? Get ready to hand that puppy's not so perfect after all. Thankfully the people that work for ZOVA are pretty close to writing super heroes. They didn't just take my manuscript as is and put it in print all easy breezy like I thought they would. Instead they opened my eyes to the weaknesses and the strengths of the story and gave me the opportunity to reorganize, take out chapters that didn't move the story forward, write in new scenes that are now key elements of the plot, and develop characters further. You can't imagine how much better the book is. Content edits are hard. They hurt. But they are worth it. If your publisher tells you your manuscript is flawless, you're either not getting the attention you deserve, or you're a super author genius and I hate you for being so dang perfect (just kidding...but seriously though).

Step Two: Fine-Tuning - After you get the email that says the content edits are good and you can move forward, don't get too excited. Although the really hard stuff is over, there is still a ton of work to be done. This second read-through is where you strip out redundant sentences, add more sensory details to the places that have too much internal monologue/narrative, and fine-tune sentences that seem choppy. 

Step Three: Line Edits - This is the most recent step I've taken on my writing road trip. Line edits mean it's the publisher/editor's turn to read through the manuscript and correct the remaining mistakes that you've failed to catch. These are mostly commas or whatever seems to be your bad writing habit (mine habit is comma placement...I'm terrible). After they do this, you then have to do a third read-through to approve the changes and make any last minute corrections. Sounds like the easy part, right? Unless, like me, you have to do it in two days. I didn't mind though. There was a reason behind the sudden rush to finish. Today they are having the largest book fair in the world in Frankfurt, Germany, and OPPRESSION is there! They're on the hunt for international publishers to pick up the series. It's very exciting...

As for what's next? I believe it is proofing (one last editing step) before ARCs are produced and sent out for reviews. Also, we drew up a mock cover, so that should be coming up soon as well. Stay tuned for updates!

Where are you on your writing journey?


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jessica! I've been wondering what the process is like with editing and what not. Also, I have a major comma problem too. I sprinkle commas through my WIP like Hansel and Gretel sprinkle bread crumbs lol.

  2. Wow, Jessica! This is really exciting! I was reading PubRants earlier and Kristin was discussing the Frankfurt Book Fair. How cool that you're book will be there! I wish you every success.

  3. Wow - just when you think you've done all of that in your own edits - eeep. Congratulations on being on the last leg of it. You must be so excited.

    I have a huge issue with punctuation as I grew up in Germany for a chunk of my childhood. But I am lucky enough to have 7 crit partners with different strengths.

    Thank you for sharing this :D

  4. Best of luck in the final steps. So excited for you to get that ARC in your hands, and looking forward to you sharing more of your journey.

  5. Whew! So much work but so worth it, I bet. Thanks for sharing the journey! :)

    I'm working on short/flash stories, playing with ideas for this year's NaNo novel, writing blog posts. The usual. :)

  6. Wow, thanks for telling us how it really goes. Gulp.

  7. I'm so glad you posted this. It's funny how we think it'll be easy once we get passed the writing phase. It never ends, eh? Good luck with everything!

    The Warm Fuzzies Blogfest is coming up. I'm hoping I'll see you there!