Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paradise by the Dashboard Light....

No, I'm not sitting in my car with my cover model :) ... but I am sitting in front of the warm glow of my monitor in a darkened office, praying that no one knocks on the door to disturb my mid-day me-time. I'm sitting here in the dark because I want to tell you about last night...

Last night, I did something I never thought I'd be able to do...I completed my first round of edits for my publisher. Without screaming. Without crying. Without busting out a neglected bottle of Irish Mist from my top cupboard. You see, editing is a terrifying, gut-wrenching, amazingly exhilarating experience. I had no idea it would be like this!

When I first got my edits, I was almost afraid to open my email. What would she say? Would she want me to rewrite the whole thing? Would she hate it? Would she think I'm a complete idiot?  Taking a deep breath, I hit download, and the whole, red mess came popping up. Actually, it wasn't a red mess. It was more... magenta. And it wasn't a mess. As a matter of fact, besides letting me know, repeatedly, that The Bird (as in flipping the bird) didn't need to be capitalized, the first chapter was left virtually untouched, which doesn't surprise me, since that's the chapter most authors pour 90% of their blood, sweat, and tears into. After that, the little magenta lights lit up my text sporadically, occasionally clustering in areas, indicating I may have been writing in my sleep which resulted in an overuse of commas, an occasional semi-colon, and even one section of head-hopping. These, thank goodness, were the easy fixes.

The challenge came with three panic-inducing comments. Marie, my editor, asked me to develop relationships and emotions in three main areas. At first I thought there was no way I was going to be able to do this. There was a reason I wrote it the way I did, and I thought it was near-perfect. (Authors tend to be very territorial about their babies, and Phoenix was definitely my baby.) But, knowing Marie was hired as an editor for a reason, I dug right down to the bottom of my soul (oh, yeah) and decided to look at my words through the eyes of my readers. And I knew. Marie, my now all-wise editor, was right.

So, last night I put the finishing touches on my first round of edits, reread them for the zillionth time, and I have to say I am forever grateful that Marie challenged me to stretch myself and my characters. I think the result is outstanding! I'm going to languish in that feeling for a while--at least until the next round of edits...

4 comments:

  1. Challenges,when solvable,are satisfying and make a person feel accomplished. :)Wow great venture!!!

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  2. Replies
    1. :) Thank you, and you are FREE to tell the world about it whenever your heart and your fingers desire!

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