So it’s been a Keepers of the Flame: Revision Editon sort of couple weeks. I’ve also learned a lot about my own writing from Editor Awesome, so I’ve been trying to figure out some tricks to hone my craft based on the editorial revisions and notes I receive from her, other than just “being aware” of these issues. As a craftsperson, I want to be better, smoother, more masterly. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, but I seek out this kind of coaching rather than shy away from it. After all, you don’t get better by hearing how good you are all day long–you get better by specific feedback. Or, rather, by the patterns of specific feedback. If more than one person tells me there needs to be more world building, I believe them. I multiple people tell me my protagonist is the bomb-diggity, and two people think she’s wishy-washy, well, I’m going with the majority shareholders on this vote because this is just a prime example of subjectivity. I need to trust my readers and editor.
I’ve never had this level of coaching before, and I love it. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, I was halfway through before I wanted to fall over in Dead Author’s Sprawl (TM). But by the time I was done, it was worth it. By the time I was done, I was exhilarated. Yes, relieved, too. But also exhilarated in that heaving, drooling, gooey-at-the-knees-thank-gods-it’s-over way.
Editor Awesome politely thanked me, and let me know she’d have the next round to me within the next week.
Did I mention this was hard work? Because it’s more than that. This is really where the metal meets the meat. You clench your cutlass between your teeth, swing over to the good ship Revision, and confront your story–and your craftmanship–face-to-face. Hopefully you don’t trip and decapitate yourself in the process, like I did the first go ’round.
HA. And you thought your job was done once you got a publishing contract, didn’t you? No, getting that contract in your hawt little writer monkey paws means your job is pretty much just beginning. I hope you’re in this for the long haul, friends, because you’re going to have to battle your way though some sticky wickets. There’s probably going to be a point when you’ll never want to see the damned story again. “No, really–it’s not you, it’s me…”
Here’s a rule of thumb, and a friendly warning: if it seems like it’s too easy, it probably is. Because the hard is what makes the cake worth the bake.
BRIGHID’S MARK (Editorial Revisions): Big news this last week, as I was finally to do my highly anticipated (at least by me) Cover Art Reveal on Friday. W00T! Cover art is one of the best rewards about this entire process, and one of my most favorite things. In addition, I turned in Editorial Pass #1 to Editor Awesome, and I should have the next round from her some time this coming week, probably by Wednesday. In the interim I’ll be working on:
KEEPERS ORIGINS #1 (In Revision): Now that I know what my pattern weaknesses are (aka “The Greatest Blips”), I can turn my attention to polishing the ever-loving almighty out of this Self-Pub project. I also need to figure out the proper formatting, so I’m studying my Brighid’s Mark revision packet for that as well.
KEEPERS #3 (In Revision): Ditto Origin #1 notes here, minus the formatting project. The first pass I’ll do for content, since I need to add some word-building. The next will be a line edit on the hunt for my “Blips”: POV, vagueness, and word echoes. The final, pre-submission pass will be to apply the final gleam. Then I’ll do my query/cover letter and synopsis.
I’m also now looking forward to December. I’ll only be drafting Big Dang Projeckt at that point (I hope), plus whatever Keepers #2 revisions come whipping my way from Editor Awesome and Samhain Publishing. In addition, I’m looking to do a new home page for this here site for my readers, and doing some proactive market targeting to engage potential new readers. Hey, the more the merrier, right?
Also, I don’t know what’s been going on with WordPress lately, but they’ve reformatted their Appeareance dashboard, and everytime I try to change something in the widgets it errors out so my images don’t appear and won’t save to be restored. Blerg.
In the meantime, have a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving, y’all (for my fellow Americanites), and here’s to a productive rest of the month! 🙂