Friday, March 27, 2009

the eternal edit

Once upon a time there was a Kentucky girl very green to the publishing world who wanted to cry at her very first edit...

I think I could write a book about editing a book at this stage of the game and even smile while doing it:) I've learned a few things and can now face an edit without flinching. But that very first edit - whew! I felt sick and then some. And I was ashamed of being so addled over tossing a few chapters, rearranging paragraphs, and deleting sentences. Not anymore! I can ax words like loggers fall trees out here. That's growth!

So I'm now working on my last edit of The Frontiersman's Daughter. I've probably said this before. But Lael keeps coming back to me, like it or not. And I really do like it now. She's better for all those edits and so am I. I hope you'll agree. But I am always amazed that I could just keep on editing, even after a book goes to print. I am never satisfied with the finished product. And no, I don't think I'll be reading The Frontiersman's Daughter when it hits bookstores for this very reason. I will still find things to edit even then - only I won't be able to! It must be the writer in me.

Things I'm learning at this stage of the journey:

1. We are like manuscripts - always a work in progress from first word to last, first breath to last.
2. The Author is always editing us, revising us, deleting those besetting sins that show up like stubborn typos, patiently using plenty of white-out or simply hitting the delete button. It hurts so much but is so necessary. You, like the book, are much better for it in the end.
3. A Christ-centered book, like a person, always has a happy finish.
4. But you are of far more value to God than a good book. He doesn't ever stop the editing process or put you down. When your pages wear thin and your cover is smudged you are even more beautiful to Him. He loves you so much He takes you with Him when you end. He has an awesome library full of finished works just like you. And He gets all the credit.

A silly post, perhaps. Happy Friday.


  1. Your posts are never silly, Laura. They all read so nicely with such lovely thoughts and all your readers surely enjoy hearing about your family. It's getting closer to launch time for The Frontiersman's Daughter. You're in for a very exciting and fun summer. Holding your first book is a moment to treasure. Enjoy!

  2. I think you're right, Ann. Holding that first book must rank right behind holding that first baby! I never thought I'd see the day. I bet the joy never wears thin even after writing as many books as you have:)Glad we get to launch our books together even if we're miles apart!