Because I’ve been talking recently about the editing and formatting process, I thought it might be illuminating to talk with another author who has recently completed this processs. Daryl Rothman is a burgeoning author whose work runs the gamut from YA/Fantasy to literary suspense. He just published his first novel, The Awakening of David Rose. He graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions regarding the editing process.
JP: How many pages is your book?
DR: 237 pages. First few drafts were probably 25% longer.
JP: How long did it take you to write the first draft?
DR: I wrote in dribs and drabs and really failed to gain purchase for a few years, really, for a variety of reasons. But from the time I got more serious—around 2011—it took just under two years, I think. Still some fits and starts and editing along the way.
JP: Describe your editing process.
DR: Two-fold. I try to go back after every few chapters and edit a bit, not so much just to edit but because it helps refocus me on the path to that point. Then, of course, when a draft is completed, take it page by page, word by word. Try to have some beta readers and incorporate feedback and go through it again.
JP: How long did the editing process take?
DR: Wow, a few years, all told. I edited the whole thing many times, partly of my own accord and then when I’d found a publisher and worked with their editor—because she pushed me to really make some significant adjustments so it wasn’t just a matter of cleaning up voice and language but also story and character and theme and arc.
JP: How did you know when you were done editing and ready to publish?
DR: I know exactly where I was, because I literally had the thought: okay, enough, time to bring this baby home. I catch things and improve things every single time I edit and yeah the book could still be improved further still but it struck me that this could—and would, if I let it—drag on endlessly and it simply felt time to wrap it, and any feedback good, bad or in between I would get would help me for sequels and all further writing.
A hearty thank-you to Daryl for indulging me and sharing some of his experience. If you would like to connect with him and check out some of his other writings (and I’d encourage you to do so), please visit his web site DarylRothman.com, or like his page on Facebook. Speaking of which, later this month I’ll be discussing what I’ve learned about building an author’s platform, so stay tuned.