Guest Blog: Author Editing Interview with Dez Schwartz

Today I am thrilled to welcome Dez Schwartz to the blog to share her thoughts on the editing process.

1) Tell us a bit about you and your writing
Thank you for inviting me to share a little about myself with your readers! I write Dreampunk and LGBT Paranormal about dream travelers, vampires, and dapper occultists. My interest in writing blossomed during my teen years when I took up writing fanfiction (Ghostbusters and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for those that might be curious). I didn’t start writing original fiction until college when I realized that I actually enjoyed writing my original characters more than the canon ones. A few years later, I tested the waters by sharing my work on Wattpad and then self-published a couple of titles before finally querying a manuscript to traditional publishers. I was very fortunate, and excited, that NineStar Press picked up Roam (available now). I’m signed to also release the sequel through them in 2019.

2) What do you enjoy most about the editing process?
The laughter, honestly. That first revision where you reread all of the jokes that you’d already forgotten you’d written and then cringe at all of the glaring, blatant, mistakes that make you shudder at the insane person you must have been while writing that first draft. Good times. Prepare yourself with a stiff drink.

Once you pass it on to your editor (that fairy godparent who magically transforms you into a competent writer), the best part is when they recognize a golden moment that one of your characters is having that you, biased to your favorites, didn’t see. I had an instance where a POV switch was suggested for a scene and it really brought out the best in a character that otherwise would have fallen to the wayside. I don’t need my fictional characters harboring any resentment toward me for missing out on their moments in the spotlight; they are divas. So, this catch was much appreciated.

3) What do you find hardest about the editing process?

Cutting things is always hard for me. I write from an emotional place so a lot of my words are laced with sentiment which means I struggle with throwing them out. To make myself feel better about this part of the process, I’ve started to copy/paste them into a “Cut Scenes” document. Writer’s placebo.

4) What are your general thoughts on editing as part of the overall publishing process?

It is time consuming but absolutely necessary. Set your first draft next to your final edited manuscript and the value speaks for itself.

5) What are your top editing-related tips for authors?
Save all editing until after you’ve completed your first draft. It can be tempting to revise your work but the biggest favor that you can do for yourself is to finish writing your book first. If you’re self-publishing, seek out an editor. There are those that freelance but, if money is an issue, most people know someone in their social circles or families that have experience in editing and might volunteer to help you out for free. The important thing is to get another set of eyes on your manuscript; preferably someone who reads your genre regularly. If you’re working with an editor through a publishing company then my advice is to be open to suggestions. You have the ultimate say but trust your editors. They are magical creatures, after all, so you’re lucky to have encountered them.

About the Author
Dez Schwartz writes Dreampunk & Paranormal Fiction about dream travelers, vampires, and dapper occultists. Her stories mostly featuring LGBTQ leads.

When she's not writing, you can probably find her drinking a latte and drawing, obsessing over menswear, or perusing antique shops for anything that might have formerly belonged to a vampire.