Wow, was I excited to get the next round of edits back from my editor. I love my story, the editor is awesome, what could be the problem? I mean, I knew this round of edits would get harder, as editing apparently only gets harder as I go along, but I was not really prepared for the full hit of it all.
I mean, this is my story, my voice, my characters. Editing can only make it better, right?
I’ve been edited before, technical editing, so having suggestions made, see the markups, those don’t bother me, after all they’re making a better product. But after approving all the changed that I thought made sense, and reworking the areas I didn’t like the suggestions on, I started yet another read through of my work and hated it. Hated it so much that if I had bough this book, I would have stopped reading it.
What happened? Where did my voice go? Why do I suddenly hate what is happening with my characters, my main gal, my diamond in the rough?
Suddenly I realized that this story, my baby I’ve been working on for the last year or so, no longer sounded like me. My voice was gone, my characters spark was gone, the umph that I’ve read and spend so much time emulating in dialog and descriptions prescribed by other authors to make my story stronger, gone. I felt like I was reading an instruction manual on how to watch glue dry.
After fighting back tears, I took a deep breath and started to ask myself a few questions:
Had I missed something? Was my voice and story-line so poorly written that I couldn’t see the hand in front of my face?
Perhaps the editor and I really don’t agree with the way I want to tell my story, and if so, what could I do with it?
Is my first real editing experience a hint of what is to come with future editors?
And the answers to these questions will vary with each person but for me it went as follows:
Even though my editor is also a writer, it doesn’t mean that we have the same writing styles, structures, or techniques. The real question is, is this something I can work with, or will it be a battle royal and should I just save myself the trouble. Personally I believe this is something we can work together on. It also doesn’t help that I’ve gotten this editor for free after winning the certificate at a raffel contest. As for the last question, is this something I get to look forward to later? After speaking to another author friend, the answer is yes, but how sticky they are to their changes depends on the editor and how much you want to fight for those changes.
So now, I’m working through reading and editing this next round of edits in Unexpected Revival, hoping to change the places I hate to something better, and more reflective of the voice I want it to be.
Wish me luck!