Saturday, November 19, 2011

Well, That Was Fast

One thing I'll say about my publisher/editor. When I send her something important, the feedback is pretty fast. I sent her the finished manuscript of my crime novel around late morning yesterday, and she gave me feedback in the late afternoon. I really don't know how she reads these things so fast.

The feedback itself? Ah yes. First of all, I asked her pointedly if she thought it was any good. Her answer: yes. So now there is one other person outside of my wife who thinks my novel is worth the electronic paper it's written on. Yay!

And of course she wants some revisions. The first is relatively minor, just go through the manuscript and fix some areas that exhibit a particular style of writing I tend to fall into, namely short, choppy paragraphs. Mind you, I actually like that style in some instances, particular for action/intense sequences. But she wants me to cut down on them, which is fine.

The next thing is not so simple. She wants me to cut out the entire first chapter and start with chapter 2. I respect the thinking behind this. A piece of well-worn, age-old advice for writers is to "start in the middle" and it often takes writers a chapter or two to really get into their story and build up steam, so to speak. It's often a good idea to just rip away all the beginning introductory stuff and start with the "meat" of the story.

However, I actually have a lot of good "meat" in my first chapter, as well as several developments that are integral to the plot. Her advice is to weave in whatever details are necessary into the next chapter or two, but eliminate that first one. I would almost rather she told me a character didn't work for her, or something in the plot needed to be fixed. To me that would be easier to tackle than trying to wend through line by line inserting dialogue and clever little asides meant to convey all the information from the first chapter that's necessary for the story. Cuz there's a lot of it.

Of less importance is the fact that I really liked what I wrote, and I will have to mourn the scenes that end up on the cutting room floor, including the opening, which I thought was absolutely perfect. But I guess that's what I'll do. I'll take this as a challenge, and try to make it work. Good thing I took off next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I now know what I'll be doing.

And I suppose it could be much, much worse, right? She could've said it outright sucked. So maybe I should just get to work, cuz when all is said and done, this manuscript is one major step closer to getting published. And that's a good thing.

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