Sunday, April 8, 2012

Why I need an Editor

It's been an awesome couple of weeks - in fact, 'awesome' seems like too small a word to encompass what's been happening. :-) So I guess I'll start that the beginning: Constant readers of this blog will know that I've been busy with the 3rd draft of Betrayal's Shadow for a while now - I've basically been adding plenty, re-writing what I've already written, and trying to edit as I've gone. The result was that the story seemed to be working much better than it did - the characters had better motivations, their arcs made more sense (isn't retrospect an awesome yet -at the same time- insanely irritating thing?), and the world in which Betrayal's Shadow takes place became fuller and more 'real' if you know what I mean. During all of this writing I'd submitted the manuscript to Barbara Friend Ish at Mercury Retrograde Press, this made possible by Edward Morris, one of the authors published by MRP. The manuscript had been with Barbara for a while and as I patiently (and I'm not just saying that, Barbara will back me up) waited for Barbara's response I though I'd push on with the 3rd draft - after all, writing is not something that ever stops: it's something that sinks in deeper than marrow. :-) I got an email from Barbara that really gave me a boost - she liked what I had written and saw the promise in the novel, and left the decision up to me as to whether I would want her input and advice on the manuscript. Which, of course, I did! So for the past three or four weeks (maybe less) I've been re-writing Betrayal's Shadow - Barbara had some very helpful thoughts regarding characters and plot arcs that I either just didn't think about or thought that I had dealt with properly. The thing is, the novel has taken over completely now - it's not just a case of me writing to complete a manuscript that I can be proud of (and I was always proud of it, I just never thought that said-pride could grow), it's now a case of writing something that encompasses as much as a proper novel should - character motivations and plot arcs, world building, etc. I thought that I had a pretty good novel, and after Barbara's comments on the manuscript I've realized that the novel has way more potential than even I realized! So far I'm one prologue and two chapters into the re-write, and as I'm writing I'm trying to keep in mind what Barbara brought up - I really need to raise my game to get this novel to the level that she may want to publish, and since I want to be published and since I'm also proud of this tale and want to share it with as many people as possible, that 'raising of the game' is not only difficult, a challenge like no other, but exhilarating and satisfying, too. Looking back, I almost can't believe that I wrote this novel without the input of an editor - there's so much editors see that the writers just don't or -because they are too close to the tale- can't. So, yep, I have an editor, and I'm working hard on making this novel better than it was - to play in the big sandbox that is published genre fiction I really need to learn as much as I can, and I'm so proud that Barbara saw enough in the manuscript to choose to be the one to teach me. :-) So, thank you, Barbara, for everything. You rock! :-) (Apologies for the one-paragraph post - I tried to get the paragraphs separated but Blogger didn't seem to want to work with me...)