Adventures of a New Writer

13. Finding My First Editor

So I finished my first draft and then let it breathe for a couple months. Stepping away was a good opportunity so I could look at it with a fresh pair of eyes again. I also discovered The Novel Factory could export my manuscript into a digital format that I could read on my Kindle, so when I was ready, I spent an afternoon figuring out how to get it loaded onto my device so I could read it more organically, instead of on the computer (I read all my books digitally now).

It was such an incredible experience sitting with my Kindle in my hands reading a story that I wrote! Curling up in a chair or in bed allowed me to get closer to it than I would have been able to if I was always stopping to correct something while I was at the computer. And I quickly found ways to highlight glaring errors or important notes without dramatically interrupting my reading.

I felt like the opening scene needed work and I wanted a second opinion. My husband sat watching TV in the next room and I wondered. I met my husband when were both working in the film industry and even though neither of us are in it anymore, he still has friends that give him their scripts to read and he always gives them notes. I wondered a little more. He was also an English Lit major, so he’d already and experience reading novels and giving his thoughts on them. However, my story was NOT his genre. But maybe he would at least take a look at the beginning and let me know what he thought.

So I walked out of my room and told him I felt like the opening was a little off and could he take a look at the first 20 pages for me. He looked at me a little skeptically. We both knew I wrote a romcom which was not his cup of tea. But since it was just the first 20 pages, he agreed.

When it came time to give me feedback, he was energized and excited, with lots of encouragement and helpful notes. Turns out, he may not know where the tools are, but he can edit a manuscript. Sensing his enthusiasm, I asked if he would be willing to keep reading and giving me notes and he agreed! So I printed out the whole manuscript for him and every day when he came home from work he would read through chunks of it and drop the next section of notes on my desk. It was so special to me that the first person to not only read my novel, but give me thoughtful and detailed feedback was my husband.

That English Lit degree finally came in handy!

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