A few weeks ago, I wrote of the problems of editing. “Editing is a bear,” was my blog title. It is too. I took my novel, Evergreen, to a friend and professional editor, and she ripped my manuscript apart. I must say that it was deflating, but I did the only manly thing and worked with it for the next two weeks. That was tough. It involved many rewrites, decisions, and late hours of thought and consideration.
Some of her comments, I listened to and changed, others I kept as they were. I had and have faith in that book. I liked its concept when I first started writing it, and I enjoyed it even more with every rewrite. And maybe that’s the cardinal rule every writer should make for him or herself, that you have to get someone objective to look at your work.
That was my conundrum. I didn’t think my editor was objective. My novel is a romance, and I kept reading between the lines of her comments that I had stirred up painful memories. When the book became particularly painful to her, she lost her objectivity and struck out at my work. Don’t think I’m upset with her, because I’m not. I learned a great deal from her edit and working with her improved my novel.
But thinking this, I gave my corrected manuscript to another editor, a friend of my wife’s. This lady has a PHD in English literature and had gone over one of my manuscripts a few months before. This morning I received the corrected version back with glowing praises. I haven’t looked at her comments yet, or the manuscript itself. I was so gratified that I couldn’t bring myself to do so. I almost felt as if I’d wake from a dream if I did.
Every book or short story a writer writes is part of him or herself. I put a lot of myself into that novel, and I was so overwhelmed by what my wife’s friend told her that I couldn’t look at it. There is just too much of me and my friends and school mates in that novel for me to accept her comments as something that was to be expected. I relived my senior year of high school when I wrote that book. I relived it every time I rewrote it, and I relive it again when I think of it and how to improve it.
I’m going to bring Evergreen out in a few months. I’ll publish it on Create Space and sell it on Amazon. This time I’m going to announce it properly, give it good advance and advertisement, and make sure the reading public knows that it’s a good book. Maybe it’s a little salacious, but it’s a romance of true and loving feelings when everything the couple is doing is considered wrong.
My plan now is to trace my travails as I bring the book out. I hope to generate more interest in it by doing so. Hope you buy it and enjoy it when it’s available. My wife’s friend did. Have a nice day.