My first post for the year. And after five months of head-down/bum-up, I’m finally getting to the end of my editing-fest. I had major re-writes in this novel, why? Well, the first reason is I’m an amateur. I’ve had a university education, I’ve written blogs and helped people with resumes, cover letters, and even worked on publications. But I have never brought a novel to it’s publishable ‘form’.
Creative fiction is a whole other world, full of ambiguity and irritation, but in the end it’s ALLLL worth it. Thank god for my editor. I had many ideas of how a novel ‘should’ be. She helped me realise that many of them were wrong. Did I like hearing that? God no. But I did listen, and pondered, and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and it seems I’m getting close to what is needed.
Where would we be without our editor’s fresh eyes, critical remarks and all around sensible bring-us-down-to-earth ‘Track Changes Comments’ in Microsoft Word. Our editors throw themselves on our ready-to-explode-from-horrific-errors, manuscripts and groan and mutter as they correct our shameful mistakes. They’re forced to be people-managers as they deal with our fragile egos that crumble under the pressure of having our overvalued words stripped from our manuscripts. It’s a tough love that creates respect, trust and gratitude.
I’ve been exceptionally humbled by this process and can say that I’ve grown so much in how I convey my ideas. I’m still an amateur, maybe I always will be, but I have LEARNED LEARNED and LEARNED some more. That is the most valuable jewel that I have obtained from chipping away at padding, preposterous prose and predictable plots.
I hope you have a successful 2013!
If you are a writer struggling with your manuscript. Don’t. Give. Up.
Hire someone to give you REAL feedback. Someone who knows what your story SHOULD look like if it’s to ignite that soul gripping spark in your readers. As writers we’ll always need editors, but what can change is how much work we put those editors through.