The Quirky Ladies is a group of eclectic (and dare I say quirky?) ladies who are passionate about writing romantic fiction. All types of romantic fiction...paranormal, fantasy, historical, erotic and contemporary. Bring it on!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Learning My Lessons

So, I'm not complaining at all, but I'm in the midst of my first set of full edits from a professional editor, and I've realized that this is not a business for the faint of heart or those with egos easily bruised. Wow!

Of course, lucky for me, I am neither of those things and while I can see how someone might freak, I'm DIGGING IT! First, my editor rocks and couldn't have been nicer about the edits. She actually says please in some of her comments. I mean, not that The Quirks aren't the most super-nice women on earth, but they kick my ass a lot harder for some of the same sorts of mistakes.

Now, I'm sure it helps that I agree with just about all of the edits. And frankly, even those few I'm not 100% sure about, I'm willing to make the changes because this woman gave me - a newbie with no previously published stories - a chance and I'm content to defer to her considerable expertise. The learning experience on this is awesome. I can think of 10 things off the top of my head that I will know going forward and that will make future edits (a girl can dream, right) all the easier. These same things will be in my mind when I edit other Quirk's manuscripts, so I feel like I'll be a better Quirky Lady when it's all said and done, too. Sweet!

So really, in case you can't tell, the process has been going well. My first hiccup in the process was last night, when I tackled those darn story edits (I did line and quick/one sentence kind of edits first). Again, my editor is totally right - the sex scenes need more emotion, and are vastly improved by knowing more about what the characters are feeling. And because I know I'm improving my story, I'm motivated and excited to be doing it. The issue is that I'm constantly questioning myself. Does she want me to drop in a word, or a phrase, or even a new paragraph? Should I be going back to build in what she wants through out the sex scenes, some of which are 10+ pages long? Or is she going to freak when she sees all those edits at this point? Am I doing too much? Too little? Am I spinning myself in circles worrying about it? (Answer to the last question: YES)

Ultimately, I decided last night that the goal is to produce the best book possible for the readers, for myself, and for my publisher, who would like it if I sold lots and lots of copies to those happy readers. Based on this unified goal, I tried to limit my edits to what my editor asked for, and in some cases this did mean I had to back and layer in the emotion for the whole scene. I don't think she'll disagree and I'm really hoping she'll be pleased with the end result.

And if she isn't? First, I'll thank God for the "Reject Changes" button. Then I'll remind myself it's another learning experience to take to heart and into my next editing process. (A girl can dream, right?)


Penny Watson said...

Sam, you are already a master on edits...I'm looking forward to you using your new found talents on my WIP...and sort of scared, too! I think you're going to kick my arse! Hee hee...


Michelle Picard said...

You have a great attitude, Sam. The story is only going to be stronger. Plus, I too will benefit like Penny said. I am so excited for you.

Dalton Diaz said...

Your relationship with your editor is building as you both figure out what to expect from each other. EC works hard to place the right author with the right editor - very important to both parties.

Exciting, isn't it? I can feel that in your post. Congrats!

Samantha Wayland said...

Thank you, Ladies! It has been fun and exciting.

Victoria Morgan said...

Sounds like it is a real learning process, but I can't imagine you getting a more discerning editorial eye than you already have. I stand forewarned. But more importantly, I can't wait to see your finished book!

Tara Truesdale said...

I think you are tackling your edits with the exactly the right attitude. Great job, Sam! It's a learning experience, and your writing, which is already fabulous, will be all the better for it. I can't wait to hear more about what you have learned through the process, but also kind of scared to send you my next chapters! :)

Anonymous said...

But why does she state the chapter headings should go at the top of the page? I've always been told it goes 1/3 way down. Can you explain?

That's the only edit I could read ... but I must say it does take balls to put your baby out there to be ripped apart. You've got to have thick skin to get through it!