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Editing Is Not (Unfortunately) a Numbers Game

Remember that post where I talked about LOVING first drafts and how HARD editing is? Yeah. I still fully stand behind that sentiment.

Editing is brutal for me, I think strangely because I’m a numbers girl. I distinctly remember setting up spreadsheets for The Midnight Dance to make sure each flashback chapter fell at regular intervals, and then having to rewrite them based on changes in the revisions!

the king's questioner cover

The King’s Questioner involved an entirely different set of issues. I sold the book on proposal and a very loose outline (because remember, I can’t outline!) so by the time Holly got the complete first draft in hand she was probably scratching her head at the mess in front of her.

In fact, I know she was, because the most important editorial request was that a particular character completely had to change. Suffice it to say that in the first draft Reign was a very broken character. I’ve twice tried to write a very broken girl and twice have had to change her into something different, so at some point I need to write a book about this topic, but The King’s Questioner wasn’t the proper venue. Thus, my first revision focused on completely revamping Reign’s character and editing some significant plot points.

My second full revision focused on pacing. I tend to struggle with my middles, so we focused on upping the stakes at every turn of the journey. I also had to restructure some of the magic (some aspects weren’t quite consistent) and tighten some character elements again.

By the time my third edit letter came through, the requests weren’t quite as significant. Clarify a few plot points here, cut out some meandering there, and we were finally ready to move it to copyediting!

I love the end result and I hope that you do too!

The King's Questioner goes on sale January 14, but it's available to preorder now! (And don't forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!)

Author spotlight

Nikki Katz

Nikki is the author of The Midnight Dance, her debut young adult novel, replete with magical realism and Gothic settings. …

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