Thursday, July 31, 2014
The Experience of First Edits
Well, now things are moving on Merm-8. I've gotten contacted by my editor and promotions specialist. Weird how nothing for nine months, and now a bunch of stuff is all due at the same time. And meanwhile I'm 75% totally complete with the next novel. Lovely planning.
The edits themselves weren't bad. Mostly changing hyphens to em-dashes, worrying about commas. Interestingly, the editor is choosing to insert "and then" or "then" instead of eliminating them entirely. I thought was bad times. But I guess every publishing house's style is different. For other things, I deferred to the editor ninety percent of the time. Like not using all caps for emphasis and rephrasing my attempts at using future-slang. She noted a lot of name repetition, which I was happy to remove. I'm always worried about the reader knowing which "he" I'm referring to. Even when there's only one "he" in the scene.
The hardest part is the beginning. And I'm sure I'm not the only author with this problem. You have to communicate so much information in the first sentence or two. And for this one, I just cannot convert it into something that's intriguing and attention-grabbing and still lets you know who the main POV is, the setting, the situation, all that. It's still terrible, still dull. And I wouldn't be surprised if they something on second edits. (There are a total of three.)
The other hard part was that there's a POV shift late in the story. It'd disconcerting if you've read it once. Eye-glazing if you've read it forty times (like me). I had to make it more clear that it was from a certain perspective, when my intention was to keep it kinda 3rd person perspectiveless (which I don't think is a thing). If I change it from one to another, I lose some of my darlings. I know you're supposed to kill them, but I think they're impactful. The hubris of the writer, I suppose.