Guest Post: Kaytlin Phillips

Guess what, guys? Today you’ll be getting two posts – one in the morning, one in the evening – because two very special things are happening! First, Kaytlin Phillips is releasing her first book, World of Silence, on May 25th! You can find it on Amazon and Goodreads. 🙂 To help support that, she wrote a guest article for my blog. So read on, and enjoy!

Not All Cake & Ice Cream: the Trials of Editing by Kaytlin Phillips

Hello folks, I’m so glad to be here on Sword of the Penmaiden! Joelle asked me to write about the editing and/or publishing process for my book World of Silence, so let’s see what I can come up with…Strangely I’m a very unorganized perfectionist…lol…

When I began my journey to publishing, I totally underestimated the amount of editing that would need to take place. I mean, I knew editing needed to be done but my un-published self thought that since I had read over the book countless times over the years it must be about perfect. Not any major typos insight. Boy, was I wrong.

I quickly learned that no matter how many times you’ve read a manuscript, no matter how polished you think it is, another pair of eyes can find fifty things you missed, and another set of eyes can find forty more, and another set might find sixty more, making the move to get beta readers on my manuscript was one of the best choices I made! So many tiny details, typos, and major plot details would be all out of whack was it not for them. (You gals were great!)

Editing is all about making your manuscript the absolute best it could possibly be, but it is by no means all cake and ice cream if you get my meaning. Editing hurt. Like a lot. It hurt to reword sentences and delete scenes and wrack my brain trying to rewrite something in a more intelligible way. But you know what?

I love every edit I made! I love World of Silence now more than I ever did before! Did I take every editing suggestion? No. I didn’t. But I did take most of them. There were a few where it was mentioned that this scene could be shorter, or cut entirely, and after reading over the scene in question, leaving it for a day, and praying about it, I decided I didn’t want them cut or shortened.

Editing is a tricky thing because you have to balance the suggestions that others are giving, while also remaining true to the story and yourself. It’s all about knowing when to surrender to the dreaded edit and when to say, “You know what, I’m going to keep that because I like it.” Because at the end of the day, it’s your book, and if you hate it what’s the point in publishing? Sure, others might like it, but you’re not gonna get any joy out of it because you can’t stand it. When you spend months or years of your life working on something you should like it when you’re finished. You should be proud of it!

But at the same time, we have to go into editing with open minds. We can’t be snooty about edits like, “What does she know about writing, that’s my style she’s suggesting I cut…” And that could go on. I will admit I was a bit defensive at first. Like, what? Fledge is too pouty? (*rolls eyes*) No way, he has every right to act the way he does. Turns out he was actually *winces* really annoying when you read him from a reader’s point of view and not a writer. I cut a lot of his crybaby *winces* scenes and replaced them with descriptions of his surroundings. You know what, it turned out way better!!! And I absolutely adore Fledge now!!! Love him way more than I did at first, which I didn’t think was possible. 😊

Being open to suggestions doesn’t mean we’ll take them. In the end, we may decide we like it our way best. But the least we can do is try the suggestions. I always keep at least three files of the books I’m editing on hand. One is the original rough draft which I never touch. The second is my edit doc, the one I took from rough draft to novel. And then third is the one the betas work in, the doc that changes. That way if I don’t like any of the changes that I approve I can go back to my second doc and find the original scene. Now, why do I keep the rough draft and not edit in that doc? Because I like to look back at it sometimes and be like, “Oh wow! Look how far I’ve come!” It’s really helpful for those moments when you get to feeling that what you write is a piece of junk and maybe you should just give up. Seeing something you wrote that’s worse than what you’re currently writing and you know you turned into something beautiful is a great confidence booster!

It’s true: editing isn’t all cake and ice cream. It’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears too. Cutting things you never thought you’d get rid of to see if it flows better. Rewriting scenes that you thought made sense but turns out they only made sense to you. Having your punctuation and grammar corrected.

But, in order to make any headway with edits, you have to humble yourself. This isn’t a personal attack; this is simply people trying to help. Maybe you like their help, maybe you don’t. But trust me, the majority of edits are going to embarrass you…because it’s gonna be like, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But it’s so worth it! So, push pride into a corner, open your mind, and enjoy getting some awesome feedback! Because as much as it stings for people to criticize your work, it also feels so great when they compliment you on a rewritten scene! Or on an original scene that you worked your butt off writing! There’s some cake and ice cream involved; you just have to bite the bullets to get to it.

Editing is a rough journey; one I would take a million times if it meant getting my manuscript to its absolute best!

Thanks for having me, Joelle! I enjoyed the challenge of writing a coherent blog post…lol…

Of course, Kayti!! Congrats on releasing your first book. 😉

About the Author

Kaytlin Phillips is a homeschool grad who spends her days praising her Savior, reading, writing, blogging, and annoying her sisters with random thoughts. She is the fifth child out of seven and resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Her favorite hobbies include writing, reading, hiking, theology, history, blogging, ASL(Of which she 0nly knows the basics but has good intentions of learning more), crocheting, doodling, wild orchid hunting, and anything she does with her sisters or family.

You can find her on Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook, and her blog, Sisters Three.

In case you’re interested, here’s the schedule for the rest of the blog tour. Follow along as we spotlight WOS all over the web. 🙂

Monday, May 16th

Sisters Three – Blog Tour Launch Announcement 

The Sword of the Penmaiden – Guest Post

Vanessa Hall – Spotlight and Review

Tuesday, May 17th

Kristina Hall – Review and Sneak Peek

Wednesday, May 18th

Saraina Whitney – Review

Tasha Van Kesteren – Interview

Thursday, May 19th

The Introspective Introvert – Interview

Friday, May 20th

Abbigail Befus – Facebook Review

Teen Writers’ Nook – Review

Bookish Productions – Review

Saraina Whitney – Behind the book Interview and Sneak Peek

Saturday, May 21st

Sisters Three – Character Interview

Sunday, May 22nd

Sisters Three – Fan Art

Monday, May 23rd

Saraina Whitney – Character Interview

Vanessa Hall – Interview

Tuesday, May 24th

Bookish Productions – Behind the book interview

Into my Writing Journey – Spotlight

Release Day!

Wednesday, May 25th

Sisters Three – Launch announcement and Winner of the Short Story contest announcement!

The Introspective Introvert -Sneak Peek – Lillian Keith

Kristina Hall

Saraina Whitney

Vanessa Hall

Tasha Van Kesteren

Abbigail Befus – Facebook

Into my Writing Journey – Issabelle Perry

What do you guys think about the editing process? Are you excited for WOS?! Do you prefer cake or ice cream more? ;P

Until next time!

Take courage, pursue God, and smile while you still have teeth!! 😀

~Joelle & Kayti

19 thoughts on “Guest Post: Kaytlin Phillips

  1. Thanks so much, Joelle! It was a honor to be asked to guest post over here! I had a good time writing it! And I love your ability to make sense of my ramblings…lol….might need to hire you full time…haha…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ooo, that was such a good post, Kayti!!! Thank you for sharing it!! (And thank you for having her on, Joelle!! 😉 ) It is SO smart to keep the copy of the rough draft so you can see how far you’ve come. I never thought about that, but I’m going to do that once I finish my rough draft! 😀

    Lol… can I choose cake AND ice cream?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now, editing might not be cake and ice cream (which I am seriously craving right now XD), but this post is!! Thank you for sharing, Kayti and Joelle!!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful article, Kaytlin! It’s so true: so many things that are good for the story hurt in the moment. But the pain is truly worth it! Congrats on getting published! Wishing you the best. <333

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ooooo FANTASTIC post, Kayti and Joelle!!!!! I can definitely relate to SO much of your thoughts, Kayti!! I still remember the first couple of times I had some major edits and critiques on my work. Boy, I never realized how much help my stories needed, but like you said, you’ve gotta push through all of that because it’s amazing how much more fantastic the story is!!!! Plus, with all the help I’ve received from editors and betas and critique partners, I see SUCH major growth in my writing that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way!!! I learned what my strengths and weaknesses were and were able to focus on them more specifically!!! Again, fantabulous post and I enjoyed reading it soooo much!!! CONGRATS AGAIN ON WORLD OF SILENCE’S PUBLICATION!!!!! SO SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!! And thank YOU Joelle for sharing this!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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