Editing: No Worse Than a Visit To the Dentist

Actually I am a big cry baby when it comes to the dentist so being no worse isn’t saying much. What am I talking about? Receiving my completed edit back from Gary at Bubblecow. Firstly, let me say that Gary has done a great job with the edit and I am very pleased with the results. His editor’s report points out weaknesses in the book and also tells me where I am going right as well. I have been through the manuscript and accepted 90% of the changes. Most of these are slight alterations to the text, the deletion of small sections, etc. The remaining 10% is where the pain lies. If you have gone through the process you will know what I mean. Remember that great line at the end of chapter 23 where you knew you had knocked the reader dead? DELETED. Ouch. An off the cuff remark that a character makes that you thought was so clever, so witty? WRONG. It is deleted and replaced with a more prosaic line. Double ouch.

In the end I have accepted and heroically borne the pain of most of these changes too, only in one or two places have I dug my heels in like a stubborn donkey (ass?) and refused to budge.

There are some bigger changes that I have to decide on too and that will be tricky. As a start I will be working on adding some extra description (some people’s weakness is too much description, mine is the opposite) and increasing the tension throughout the novel. Then I am going to despatch the book to my group of beta readers and see what they think. Any bigger, structural changes will be made after their opinions have been canvassed.

Now that wasn’t too painful, was it? Nothing to be worried about for next time…

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