Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Editing madness

Colleen said to me on Monday, "You're going to hate me." Why would I do that? Because she's editing my MS, and came to a part that she thought was totally lame, and said so. Grrrr.

It's never easy to hear a comment like that, and if you ever get the privilege of being edited by Colleen, you will learn that she doesn't hold back, she makes her points VERY clear with lots of comments, honest reaction, and even a little sarcasm. I take criticism in that way from her because she's my friend and I trust her. (Plus there's that little bit of knowledge in the back of my mind that turnabout is fair play and I'm going to be editing for her some day very soon!!) I brace myself for her negative comments and take lots of deep breaths, but I listen to them and remain objective. I don't get all pissy and mad... because she's... well, she's right. It's refreshing to hear someone say, "I really wanted something bad to happen to Kyer in that scene, and it didn't, and I felt totally let down." Believe me, there was more to it than that. Ouch!

That kind of feedback is crucial. I appreciate her candor, and said so. I don't want an agent to read my book and feel "totally let down." I'd rather get it from a friend in a timely fashion, allowing me to fix the problems before they can be read by an agent who might then reject the whole thing.

So, I've worked on the chapter in question, using a scene I wrote for book two but removed because it didn't really fit. See, that's a reason to never reject an idea: always write the scene, even if you don't wind up using it where you planned. It has found a place elsewhere.

Now Kyer is in bigger trouble than she was before, and furthermore, she tries to talk her way out of it, but it fails, and boy oh boy is she in for it. And hopefully the reader response will be, "Oh NO! How's she going to get out of this?!"  

And THAT is the kind of reaction I want. So once again, thanks Colleen, for being so very nasty. And no, I couldn't hate you if I tried.

No comments: