If you follow us on Twitter or tumblr, you’ve probably noticed our kvetching about our latest round of edits. Racheline and I have spent a large chunk of June, and a sizeable chunk of July, in editing various books in the Love in Los Angeles series. We’ll probably be spending August doing some as well. It’s hard work and it’s definitely not as fun or satisfying as plowing through the first draft of something, but it’s giving us some pretty interesting opportunities.
Racheline and I are both fast writers, and there are two of us, which means that we’re working on the third book (and beyond) in the Love in Los Angeles series while we’re doing publisher’s edits on the first book.
Also, as a rule, we write linearly/chronologically, but we brainstorm all over the damn place. While we were in the middle of writing Doves, for instance, we were sending emails back and forth about things that happen in the last book of the series. Sometimes, threads aren’t even about the books at all but the events that happen in between them that still have an impact down the road. (Some of those inter-book events, we plan to write up as short stories and post here on the blog as free bonus content, so keep an eye out for those!)
What that all means is that sometimes, the things that find happen in later books can inform and even change what happens or needs to happen in earlier books.
Some of that is because characters develop as we write them, and things we thought were true at the time, we now know are not. Some of it is because writing is spooky, and we have characters who hide and lie, even from us. (Alex, and what happened in Indiana, we’re looking at you.)
So going back and doing edits on Book 1 while we’re polishing up Book 3 for submission, gives us a lot of opportunities to do everything from correct inconsistencies (Seriously. There is nothing like a round of edits to make you go THIS SENTENCE IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE HOW DID I EVER EVEN WRITE IT I AM THE WORST WRITER IN THE WORLD) to seeding themes and storylines we discovered after the initial writing.
And really, for all its misery, the editing process is exactly for catching the dumb shit you only notice after coming back to a manuscript that’s been sitting in a drawer for eight months, even if the process is often pure misery. So we’re lucky, really, to be so far ahead with the story, and have the opportunity to go back and add hints and seeds for what is to come.