You’ve written the book, and you wrote what you meant to write. What if it’s wrong?
I need to extend the timeline on producing my book, and this is the part where writers, the ones who’ve already published books, shake their heads at the death of my innocence…
First of all, a writer’s editors are far more than just folks who point out your punctuation errors – they are the mirrors upon which you look to see your creativity reflected. It sounds like metaphorical crap, but it’s the truth. No, I’m serious! They show you the surface imperfections, true, but they also show you the structural deformities, cast light on the high cheekbones, everything and anything. A good editor – and I have two! – is worth their weight in dark matter. I can’t brag about John and Nigia enough.
Maybe this is something you’ve always known, but until quite recently I’d never written anything, and I had no idea. I’m just a guy who allowed an idea to percolate, encountered a tipping point, and the story seized me. Seize is the right word, too: I was dancing merrily along to the sound of my own beat when the story tapped me on the shoulder and said, “excuse me, mind if I cut in? Oh, and, I have to lead, too.” The occasional writing fugues I had occasionally lapsed into must have been something to see.
Like most other writers, I reached out to a couple of other established authors to give me some first round edits. They easily pointed out the technical errors, a few plot holes and whatnot… It wasn’t quite right yet, but I got the draft done. I knew it needed work – a lot of work – but the rough story was there and it was what I wanted to write. I put what I thought might be the right amount of work – though in my more honest moments I knew it wasn’t perfect – and asked for more feedback. It needed window dressing, but I was sure I was nearly there.
Or so I’d thought.
That’s when the real issues came out, loud and clear, and though I’d written what I wanted to, I could now clearly see things I’d missed. I’d been too close to my characters, in love with them really, and they’d blinded me to the fact that the story had danced me in the wrong direction.
But that’s the difference between decent editors and fantastic ones: they showed me what I needed to see, but they also pushed me and my dancing lead in the right direction. I can now say that I’m nearly ready for a new round of edits, but I do believe I’m ready for Dancing with the Stars.
So… I need to back things up. I hope to be second round complete at the end of August, but no promises. The truth is I’d rather hold off for a better product, and I’ll do that for as long as I must.
And John, Nigia – thanks. You guys rock!