Your Next Draft

Listen in on a Real-Life Scene Edit with Author and Editor Kim Kessler

March 28, 2023 Alice Sudlow Episode 20
Your Next Draft
Listen in on a Real-Life Scene Edit with Author and Editor Kim Kessler
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Show Notes

Ever wondered what it looks like to get feedback from an editor?

Recently, my friend Kim Kessler, herself a developmental editor and author, sent me a scene of the novel she’s working on. I read it and prepared some notes for her.

Then, we hopped on a call to talk through my feedback.

And we recorded the whole conversation!

In this episode, you’ll hear exactly how developmental editing works. I walk Kim through the same process I use for all my editing clients.

You’ll hear the questions I ask her, the specific recommendations I give, and my favorite part: the moment of epiphany, when we “solve” what she needs to do next with her scene.

And if you ever feel nervous about working with an editor . . . well, we get it. Kim and I share why we felt nervous about this episode, too—and why this editing session was worth all the nerves and risk!

Fair warning: this episode is long.

It’s worth listening to the whole thing, especially if you want to hear exactly what a real developmental editing session looks like.

But if you’d like to jump straight to some key moments, check out these time stamps:

[5:42] Why Kim and I don’t offer sample edits of developmental editing

[10:06] Kim introduces her novel and shares the context of her scene

[18:35] The most important editing question: WHY Kim is writing this novel and what she wants it to achieve

[25:40] What I love about Kim’s scene and what she’s doing well

[29:47] The start of our scene analysis—if you’ve listened to the episode “5 Essential Questions to Fix Boring Scenes,” these questions will be familiar to you

[36:22] What changes in this scene? What’s the value shift?

[54:31] What is this scene really about?

[1:02:45] The specific recommendation I have for Kim’s scene

[1:04:57] Kim and I brainstorm ways to apply that feedback

And if you’d like this kind of feedback on your scenes . . .

. . . keep your eye out for a way to sign up for a scene critique of your own, coming soon!

Links mentioned in the episode:

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