Monday, June 22, 2009

Oh, boy.

"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?

21 comments:

Kristina P. said...

How frustrating to get two different pieces of advice! You will figure it out.

Annette Lyon said...

Welcome to the bizarro world of evals! I had the exact same experience with every book--and about 1,000 times with Spires. It was the most frustrating thing ever. Eventually, you just have to follow your gut and talk to your editor. (Who'd you get, by the way?)

Josi said...

Ah man, Annette totally took my line! But, let me add the commiseration--that stuff just happens which helps us remember that we're all just people :-) Way to go, I'm so excited for you!

Sue said...

Hee.

Luisa Perkins said...

So, so cool! I can't wait until I get a similar email.

Kimberly said...

Heh. That really is a situation where you can be annoyed/angry or mightily amused. Congrats on moving into the latter phase so quickly. You rock.

charrette said...

Story of my life. Changes. (Only mine were usually revisions from design clients.)

I am SO EXCITED for you...!

April said...

You're a thrower! I love it! I throw things too! But only if I know I won't break anything, cause I'm not a breaker, just a thrower!

Chris said...

Keep track of it for the sequel. :)

Amber Lynae said...

It just goes to show that everyone stand from a different vantage point and sees things in a different light. It is nice to know that your editor sees things similar to you. Sorry that you had to go through more work to send Jessie on a date she didn't want or need though.

CaJoh said...

Write stuff… not throw stuff.

That happens all the time in other things as well. So often someone is in a particular "mood" and they want something one way, then when you present it to them again, they don't remember that they asked for it.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hiiiiii! SURPRISE! I'm baaack! And I love you new make-over. And woW, you have your own coolio editor. So happy for you!

You go, girlfriend. Are you going to post your head shot?

L.T. Elliot said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you! Even with the rewrite woes, I'm still very, very happy for you!

annie valentine said...

So, do you need my full name for your dedication?

Lara said...

Very, very cool! :)

Eowyn said...

~snigger~

I'm excited that you are getting those kinds of e-mails regardless of what they say! Awesome Melanie!

Kazzy said...

So excited for you! I hope you won't be getting another editor that suggests a dating scene be added in. I am anxious to read your book!

Becca said...

You're a rock star. The kind who follow directions, and then have that direction-following stuff called into question.

That kind of rock star.

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, definitely frustrating and funny at the same time.

P.S. I'm so excited for you!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm sure there will be a lot more of that... but I can't wait to meet Jesse and see what you have written.

Congrats!

wonder woman said...

I hope you didn't throw your pomegranate candle. Talk about a waste.

I'm glad you can now laugh at this frustration!