Asrai Devin

Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.” ― Sylvia Plath

Taking suggestions: editing this #*@!$^*& novel

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So I hired me a fancy editor. And after some anxious days of checking my email every 3 minutes after spending 3 minutes cursing several different attempts at new WIP, the edits came back.

Things I’ve learned so far:

1) I have no idea how to use a comma. I’m sure the poor editor was cursing me by the end of it. I also was missing a lot of periods at the end of sentences. Like they just disappeared, weird. Anyway after the commas and periods suggestions were all accepted I moved onto details:

2) I knew this before, but I’m often stingy on details. Partly because I want to be as concise as possible. Partly because I tend to focus on plot, I don’t spend a lot of time describing the weather and the house and the world at large. And partly because I think everyone lives in my head. I know the character’s motivations, I know the thoughts they dare not express, I know everything. But the readers don’t live in my head.

3) It’s hard to admit someone else is right. I  know all her comments are just suggestions, I can ignore them if I want, because in this book, I am Goddess!

Deep down inside, I know the suggestions are good ones. It took a few days to come to terms with her editing suggestions being right does not mean I was wrong (or that I was a crappy writer). I was shaking when I opened my file.  I was annoyed as I read over the suggestions. So I started with the commas, because I trust the editor to know where commas should go. Those were easy. I skipped over tough parts of the novel to make sure I didn’t read any notes left, for fear she would tell me she hated my darlings (only one darling had to go, actually it sort of stayed).

What number was I …right 4) british/Canadian vs American spelling. To date I’ve stuck with Canadian/UK because damn it I’m Canadian. But there was  a discussion on an email list a few weeks ago and the advice was if your primary market is American you should use American spelling because a lot of Americans think the UK version is a typo. color vs colour. It hurts me to type color. But I have to make the change now.

5) I don’t suck as much as I worried. That made me feel better. I’ve done the easy comments now. Onto the hard stuff of adding details, it is difficult to remember where I was going in certain places with this novel, I wrote it nearly a year go and I’ve written a bunch since then, one full novel, two short stories that will probably be tossed and numerous false starts, which I will blog about another day.

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