Have you ever felt like you've been beaten down? That feeling like you are tired and sore and don’t want to move. There could be many reasons for feeling like this. Maybe you are sick, or maybe you are just exhausted. Or maybe, just maybe, you just got Book #2 back from the editor.
Okay, okay. So that is me. And that is the way I feel when I start reading my editors comments on my beloved second book. But before I get ahead of myself let me start from the near beginning.
A couple months ago I did some serious searching for an editor. I found one with good references and credentials and contacted her. Before long I sent her my first ten pages. She edited them and sent a recommendation of the type of editing she would do back. With her comments she added her quote for what it would cost to do the whole book. Ms. Editor also stated that usually she quoted high, that once she got rolling along she might come in an hour or two below what she quoted. All is good.
Within those ten pages she had a small concern about point of view. In an attempt to teach myself better control of point of view I started writing a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Every one of those I read is written in first person. If you follow my ramblings you know that I’m not the biggest fan of that, but my bird brain thought it might help.
At first she informed me that if I got the manuscript to her by the end of April she would most likely have it edited by the second week in May. I stripped a few (near 1,000) words away from my baby and sent it off to her. A few days later she sent me an email explaining she was leaving for vacation the second week in May and thought it would be best if she didn’t get started then quit in the middle then start again when she came back. I said okay. Let’s face it, I’m not on a deadline. Yet. Off on vacation she went and when she came back two and a half weeks later she started on my manuscript. The next time I heard from her she gave me a brief what’s up, told me what a great vacation she had, and then said she may not have it done within the next couple weeks. Ms. Editor stated she had to travel for a few days.
Now, I am a red head. I do have a short temper sometimes. When I read that email I about lost it. But I also have a brain. Do I really want to make the person reading my manuscript mad? No. I simply told her that if she didn’t finish it by then that was okay. Amazingly she finished before she left town again.
I will tell you that when I wrote this book I was in there with the characters. They became my friends. I looked forward to seeing them and talking with them daily. This book consumed me. Sometimes during conversations with people I would zone out and think about different things to do with the characters or plot. So when I handed over my story, and my friends, a small part of me went with it. Anticipation built, as did stress and anxiety.
When she returned the manuscript she sent a seven page editorial letter stating her thoughts and ideas. She mentioned some good and more bad. J I understand most of her ideas and will try to comply when revising Book #2. Then I started reading the manuscript with the comments in track changes and I found myself discouraged. Finally page 32 she wrote a positive comment. I find it hard to sit there and see my baby, my book, questioned and torn apart. Sadly I can only read twenty or thirty pages and I have to quit. On top of that her final cost was more than what she quoted. *smh*
I know that a good part of her comments and ideas are right, and I will conform to them. It’s just hard to swallow and can be a little overwhelming at first. Or every time I start reading the track changes! But I have run into a couple good ones and that makes me feel better.
One other thing made me smile. I didn’t notice any comments about the point of view so I questioned her about it. This is her response, “No I actually didn’t see any problems with the point of view in the manuscript, and I was looking! The rotating third-person POV is very tricky to do so I suspected I’d find some issues with it and I found none! To the point that when I wrote the editorial letter, I even forgot to mention it because you did it very smoothly (kudos!)” Yay! I did do a little happy dance after I read that.
So there you go. I am trying to be a writer. One day at a time, right? J
Have you encountered something difficult to swallow lately? How do you handle criticism? Do you have any advice for me?
W.P.I.- Dealing with the criticism was hard, but walking in the garden always makes me feel better. The daylilies are showing off their pretty little faces, the blueberries are close to picking, and the gardenias are filling the air with their heavenly scent. The heat here takes a toll, so I try planting heat tolerant plants. Butterfly bush, daylilies, geum, achillea, gaura, knock out and drift roses are all heat tolerant plants that bloom nicely in the heat of the summer.