Donna Tartt has a new book out, which is worth celebrating in and of itself. But she and her editor, Michael Pietsch, discuss their editorial process over at Slate.
Every edit is different. Some writers like to show a chapter at a time or even individual scenes, as they go, for comment; I’ve worked with writers who wanted to read a passage over the phone just after they completed it. Others want to write in total privacy, not revealing a single thing until it’s finished. Sometimes editing consists primarily of a letter asking questions about plot elements, or about pacing, or character, and sometimes it’s entirely line-by-line comments on language.