My Very First Official Edit Letter

I got my first edit letter a little over a month ago and…


It was actually not as devastating as I expected it to be. Really. It was like getting a crazy-long to-do list disguised as a love letter. Or a love letter disguised as a to-do list? All I know is that it was amazing! When I finished reading the ten single-spaced pages aloud to my husband, I was all starry-eyed.


“They luuuv my story! They luuuuv Kazuko!”

In that, my husband was roused from sleep to agree with me.

And I got to thinking, they’re teaching me how to write a novel. This is like the best master class ever! And what do I get out of it? A published book!

Seriously! They’re legit experts, detailing my plot holes, character issues, wobbly arcs, and inconsistencies in tone and voice. I couldn’t be more grateful for their insight and how they’re all about helping me make this story the best it can be.

As I set to work on the edits, I transferred them to poster board for easy visibility and check-ability (because I’m all about checking off to-do lists). Something about the transfer helped me assimilate the information better. And I was all LET’S DO THIS!


Turns out I had a fairly solid first act, an unfocused second act, and a wandering third act. I breezed through first-act edits, but halted once I reached act two. It was obvious my timeline would need a major adjustment.

Enter, the post-it timeline.


Each scene got its own post-it, enabling me to shift things around until I felt confident with the new ordering. Then I referred to the timeline as I tackled rewrites.

I wish I could say I was done, and that all my edits had been submitted and received with glowing reviews. But the truth is I’m stuck on act three, puttering forward on ebbing enthusiasm, worried that with every change I’m breaking my story even more. That’s normal, right?


Thankfully I can revisit the lovely edit letter to remind myself that Kazuko’s story has a couple of champions (who aren’t related to me!). Thank you, Hannah and Laura! With their help, I’m hoping Kazuko might eventually gain even more fans. After a few more rounds of edits, of course!

Spencer Erickson