I’ve recently had my newest work edited and I’m reeling. This was to be a content edit which I took to mean she’d be checking the story for any slow areas, missing or confusing timelines, character weaknesses and plot problems.
The first thing I noticed is that many of my lines have been rewritten, sometimes for the better, but at other times she’s changed my voice by taking out special hints of a character’s personality or emotional blurbs that I purposely set up. I’ll admit, these were done using my particular style, but it’s my book…. right?
Next, she questioned actions and thoughts that within a few sentences would become clear. Should I ignore these comments? This has made me question other changes she wants me to make. Don’t get me wrong, I went to her because this book was rejected by a publisher I particularly wanted to work with. That made me realize, though my books get good reviews, maybe the sales would be stronger if I got some advice on how to strengthen my story from a professional.
At the beginning, she warned me that she wouldn’t… ahh blow smoke up my skirt which I took to mean that she would be giving me an honest edit and I welcomed that. I’m a professional and comments with a positive vibe would be gladly accepted.
But I’m also a long-time writer who has learned that not everyone will like my style. My books are fast-paced, action-packed and they don’t have a lot of… yawn ho hum areas where the reader’s eyelids start drooping. I keep my poor people constantly in scrapes of one type or another – it’s the kind of books that satisfy me.
And though I do write romance, I just can’t keep bringing up the guy’s rippling muscles or the thrilling urges my heroine gets when he stares into her eyes. I’m sorry but that kind of soppy dribble has been done to death. In my love stories, I like to keep things as real as possible. I kinda believe that my readers are intelligent enough to know when my heroine is falling for the hero and they don’t need to be reminded on every page with sappy lines and constant hints.
Another thing to note, in most of my reviews, I’ve always had compliments on my various characters. It’s what most of my many readers seem to concentrate on. But, she didn’t like them – at all – or maybe it’s just that she didn’t get them?? Not sure which is worse? But reminding myself that there are readers out there who will be thinking exactly as she does, I will make changes. I thank her for pointing out the times where I can delve a little more into their thoughts and emotions. No doubt, the story will be better for these changes and I will have learned not to cut corners on those times when I should take advantage and expand.
Again, she seemed to think my hooks at the end of my chapters were weak and that I needed to add more excitement to encourage the readers to keep reading. Since it’s something I’ve always prided myself on, I guess I just don’t get it. That hurt… but… I will reread and rework those areas and see what she means.
Truthfully, I only scanned the first dozen chapters or so and therefore, she might have changed her tactics somewhat by the end. But to say it’s humbling, is like saying my pride took a slight nudge. Sorry, but the truth is – it flew ass over tea-kettle.
And I paid big bucks to get slugged.
In the end, will I be glad?
Not sure – once I quit feeling sorry for myself, I’ll get back to you :-))