Sophie asked Richelle Mead:

What kind of precess do you go through to make sure your books are as perfect, to you before they're sent off and published, as possible? Do you ever change entire paragraphs days before it's due to be sent out?

Richelle Mead Not just paragraphs--but entire pages and chapters get changed along the way! It's not uncommon for authors to cut and redo huge sections of a book in the writing process. I start with a first draft and send it to my book editor, who sends it back a few weeks later with suggestions. I can follow them as I see fit and often rewrite huge sections before sending it back. It'll be returned to me with suggestions once more--but usually less than the first time. These two rounds usually address "big" issues--are the characters acting believably, does the plot make sense, etc. A lot of cuts and rewriting take place at this point.

The next time it goes to my book editor, it comes back with "line edits," which are more specific about the writing style itself--telling me if I've used an adjective three times on the same page, asking me to rephrase dialogue that wasn't clear, etc. The next time it goes to a different person, called a copy editor, who checks for blatant typos, grammar errors, and inconsistencies. It gets sent back to me with his/her suggestions to check over, and this is the last time I can make any major changes in the writing, though it's rare to do alter anything too big at this point. The last round is proofing, where I get to see how the actual pages will be laid out. My book editor, other people, and I check this over for any errors that slipped through. Fixing those are the only changes we can make at that point--nothing with the main story.

So, there are a lot of stages! And yet...amazing, mistakes still slip through!

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