"Hi! I'm your new editor."
Can I tell you that that is a really cool email to get? Really cool. And that's the email I got on Friday along with lots of attachments full of cool writer-y stuff. I got my professional photog-SIL to do my author head shot yesterday because she's moving to another state in a week or two and I wanted it done per the directions. I spent the weekend composing different book dedications and stressing that I would leave someone out of the acknowledgements. I considered suggestions for the book cover and dreamed about galley proofs.
And I spent a lot of time laughing about this comment in the evaluation they sent me to use when starting my next round of revisions:
Around page 129, there’s a bit with Jessie going on a blind date; I couldn’t see how that really was needed in the story because it didn’t seem to connect to the rest of the story.
Let me clarify. I spent a lot of time laughing AFTER I finished grumbling and throwing things. Because here's the thing. . .I already did one rewrite for my manuscript Click that incorporated several changes my (super cool) publisher asked for the first time. Most of them made obvious sense and I knew the story was stronger for it. But there was one change . . .
Oh, how I resisted it. It just didn't fit for my character. I railed against it, fretted about it, stressed and plotted, trying to find a way to include the change. Finally, after three weeks, I found a solution. I wrote the scene. It was funny. I still didn't think it needed to be in there, but I added it.
So let's look at the feedback from Friday again: Around page 129, there’s a bit with Jessie going on a blind date; I couldn’t see how that really was needed in the story because it didn’t seem to connect to the rest of the story.
Uh, okay. Let me explain how it ended up in there. It was because I got this evaluation in November: What about having her go on another date? Maybe during the work week pause before seeing Ben? It could give her clarity and be a moment where she realizes she would rather be with him. Or earlier in the story she could go on a date with someone else and text him during it on how much of a nightmare it is (e.g. guy is doing something horrific—most of us can relate to wanting to get out of some awful date). I like the second option better—it would be funny and something a lot of people could relate to. Either way, she needs to go on another date.
And so she did. And apparently I put her through that awful date for no reason other than I am mean and like to torture a character who has treated me kindly. Forgive me, Jessie.
So I guess this is what getting published means, changing things and then changing them back. And I'm not complaining. It's easy to hit the delete button for the scene. But man, that feedback was good for a laugh.
You know . . . right after I threw stuff.
Let me emphasize that I really, REALLY love my publisher and there's no way my editor knew about these two distinctly different pieces of advice. I'm sure my editor and I will figure out which way to go on this. But I LOVE my publisher, 'kay?
Monday, June 22, 2009
"Hi! I'm your new editor."