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Editing Process – Darby Rae

Editing Process

I have to share, there is something incredible about surrounding yourself with talented  individuals to review and critique your book…but you have to leave your ego at home  and bring your sense of humor. My publicist is my best friend, so I ask for favors now  and then (or all the time). After she read Merciful Law and made editing notes; I asked  her to please review all her notes with me. Yes, every single page…every single note…  pretty please. What could have been an exhausting experience filled with criticism, hurt  feelings and defensiveness was instead several hours of laughter. We had so much fun  going through the novel, fixing things that needed to be corrected, tightening the story  and discovering all my writing quirks. Apparently, I have several quirks, including  randomly switching tenses and I suffer from homonym confusion.

In the story, Susan has prepared chocolate moose for the guests; Mitch remarks “…  Harold looks like he could kill someone with his bear hands;” and Annie listens to  Emmet tell his boys a fairytail.” Vicky, one of our other editors discovered “I shook my  head in udder amazement.” Word-nerd that I am, I wondered if there was a word/  disorder for obsessive animal homonym confusion. There isnʼt. There are over one  hundred manias including those for flowers, islands, dancing, writing, reading, words,  and animals…but nothing like zoomonymania or homonymzoomania (that I found).

While homonymzoomania isnʼt a common writing issue, (incorrectly) alternating tenses  (past/present/future) in a novel and lack of flow are very common. Reading your story  out loud will help you hear problems like this, but nothing can replace the uncensored  feedback of a third party. So, if you want to improve your story extensively, ask yourself,  who do you trust to take your first literary work and tell you the honest truth, warts and  all. Then, when they do tell you…laugh about it, enjoy the experience, appreciate their  efforts and know it will make you an exponentially better writer!


  1. Diana Best says

    Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  2. Lewis Delaware says

    Wouldn’t we all do better in life if we left our ego at the door and instead brought along our senses of humor.

    And as a fellow word-nerd I like zoomonymania over homonymzoomania!

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