EDITING MY MEMOIR

I’m sure you have been wondering how I have been doing on the editing process of my manuscript. I know my family, friends and customers are always asking about how my memoir is coming along. My parents are waiting to read it, but I’m making them wait until my book is published. I admit the process of editing is taking longer than I expected, but I’m lucky to have and had two wonderful editors.

The editor I’m working with now, Catherine McLean, is very good at finding the small details I didn’t think about and finding cause and effect. Cause and effect is when one action causes another one. It’s like when a child falls, causing her to scrape her knee and cry. It seems simple, right? In writing a story, it isn’t so easy. Catherine seems to find a lot of problems with cause and effect in my manuscript. In some cases I must rearrange a sentence and in others I have to add a few words or a new sentence. This leads to a lot of thinking and writing and rewriting until I get it right.

Some chapters have few errors, and some have many. Editing is a lot of work. When my first editor, Kathy Otten, sent back my manuscripts with her edits, I thought I had done an awful job at self-editing. I also wondered if my memoir was any good. I had to remind myself this was just another part of the process of making my memoir even better. Once I did the edits, I thought it was in good shape until I sent it to Catherine. Catherine found things wrong that I didn’t even think about like the color of my shirt, how I could see the closet at night in my bedroom, and of course cause and effects.

I asked Catherine if my memoir was any good after I saw all her edits. She replied that my manuscript was worth her and my time. She complimented me on how I was able to fix problems with just one sentence. She told me I’m a fantastically good writer. Her encouragements makes me feel better about my writing and the process of editing.

I just finished editing chapters 28 and 29. Hopefully Monday and Tuesday I will be able to work on editing chapter 30. Once I send the three chapters back, I will only have two more chapters to edit. Wait! Don’t get too excited. After I’m done with the last two chapters, Catherine will go through the memoir a second time to look for any other mistakes and to tie up any loose ends. I just hope in the second round she will not find too much for me to fix.

I have my query letter written. A query letter is like a sales pitch to publishers. The letter tells about my memoir and my qualifications to have written it. I must make the finishing touches on it. When my manuscript is done with the editing process, I will send the query letter and three chapters to a publisher. If the publisher likes what he or she reads, he or she will request the whole manuscript.

Finding a publisher takes a lot of research. My friend and mentor, Amy Bovaird, gave me information about a publisher who specializes in memoirs. I am also researching other publications just in case I get the dreaded rejection letter. Rejection letters are also a part of the publication process. Even J.K. Rowling received rejection letters until her first Harry Potter novel got published.

I’m getting closer to finishing the editing process, but as you can see, I have a long way to go until I hold my published book in my hand. Since high school I have dreamed of having a book published, and I am determined to make that happen. In time I will hold my book, Escape to the Family Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying. The title could change. Sometimes publishers change the titles we authors have given our manuscript.

I will strive to get my memoir published and make it a success when it is published. My writing helps me help others and is a form of therapy to me. It helps me stand tall in the light of recovery.

2 thoughts on “EDITING MY MEMOIR

  1. Aimee this is great news! Having a competent editor, especially one who fine tunes the book is a big help! That’s going to make your book better than ever… Even if you don’t get it published on the first try, it is a success because as you said, “My writing helps me help others and is a form of therapy to me. It helps me stand tall in the light of recovery.” And that alone makes you and your book a success – even if it isn’t published!! (Though I’m hoping it will be and available through Amazon!)

    Like

    • Murisopsis,
      Thank you. I’m determined to get it published, but you’re right my book is a success because it helped me work through a painful time in my life when bullies help push me into mental illness.
      Thank you.
      Aimee

      Like

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