I was always really curious about this big, ominous-seeming thing. The editorial letter. I'd read blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts. Some were ecstatic, some resigned, some neutral. I know that every one is different in regards to length and detail. How could it not be? All manuscripts and editors are different. But I finally have one of my own, and I can tell you guys what mine is like.
Yes, you read that right. It might seem boastful or optimistic, but it really is just an amazing thing. Someone loved your book so much they made all this time and effort to make it better and put it out into the world. They painstakingly combed through every page with just as much care and attention as the one who wrote it.
My agent and I went through revision after revision before sending it out, wanting it to shine so brightly that the editors would be blinded when they opened that word document. (Okay, that may be a tad melodramatic. But it's more fun this way.)
Anyway, one of my editor's comments was that he had noticed that the manuscript was in good condition. I still admit to being slightly apprehensive about that letter. I'd heard of authors getting ten, twelve, or even twenty-pages of suggestions and tweaks and changes.
Yet, when I opened my e-mail one morning and found that letter waiting for me, there was nothing to be afraid of. Three pages. Three pages of kind, encouraging - and, most importantly - accurate notes. Editors aren't as pushy as the movies make them out to be, as bad as that sounds.
I didn't realize going into this how much would be up to me. Maybe I'm really, really lucky. Maybe the next editorial letter will really be twenty pages. But it's not something to dread. Not only does it mean that we're just that much closer to seeing our stories out in the world, it's full of compliments and changes that will only help improve the writing.
So, the point of this post. Editorial letters are good. I can't wait for the next one.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I've got my work cut out for me.