Torture at its finest, the slow edit is by far my least favorite stage of writing a book. In happier news, starting in January, I will begin querying literary agents. It’s an exciting time, but necessarily accompanied by the most grueling edit I’ve done yet: the slow edit. The slow edit only becomes necessary in the final stages before submissions. There’s no point doing one if you still have major content changes to make. However, at my current stage of development, it’s all I have left.
The slow edit is, in essence, the final edit where every single word must be studied for any typos, grammar or sentence structure problems. It’s the last time, so it becomes extra important. In the early stages, you can edit faster because you’re more focused on the story than the individual words.
Most of the literary agents that I am submitting to only want between 5 and 25 pages with the query, and some want no pages at all. Yet, I am carefully doing a slow edit on the whole book BEFORE submissions, hoping that someone will LOVE what I send them and immediately request the whole book. Because I’ve read many, many, many articles on what literary agents are looking for in a query, I know that if someone’s whole book isn’t ready when they request it, they will drop your query immediately.
Some people, like Veronica Roth, enjoy editing. I think they’re crazy. Editing is a rough heap of questions like: how did I miss that until now? And: why did I think that was a good idea? No fun, but quite necessary.