Editing

Okay, I’m going to admit it in public. I love editing. Don’t hate me and please don’t throw things at me. I do. It’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process.

I’m pushing through a first draft at the moment. And when I say pushing, that’s what I mean. I force myself to get up and write the scenes my characters are begging me to put down on paper. I don’t know why it’s not working, but it just isn’t. It’s hard. There is nothing fun about it this particular time around. But I persevere because I know when I get to the end I’ll know exactly what happened and where the villain came from and how my hero and heroine came to their “happy ever after“. 

Once that’s done I can go back and fill in the missing red herrings for the suspense portion of the story and beef up the romance. It’s easy because I know what I want to accomplish. It wasn’t always that way. When I wrote my first books it was the original draft that revved my engine. Plodding back through it seemed like such drudgery. But I think it was because I edited as I went. I don’t do that anymore.

This week I’m expecting edits for “Shadows of Fire“, my May 2009 release from Liquid Silver Books. (Edits for “Divine Deception” are completed and the book is just waiting for release.) I can’t wait. Part of it is that I haven’t really looked at this book since I signed the contract last August. I love these characters. Editing gives me the opportunity to revisit them and fall in love with these vampires all over again.

Of course my editor will ask me to “tighten this” or “add more here”. I don’t mind. It’s a challenge to make my writing the best it can be. I love it. I can’t help it. I do.

Of course it’s probably the thrill of knowing my story is another step closer to publication. And only the thrill of getting emails from my readers beats release day.

So bring on those edits … I’m ready!

So, I’m at it again. Editing my book, Blue Moon Rising.

I don’t know if I’m odd for a writer, but I will admit … I love the editing phase of writing a book. Blue Moon Rising is the fifth story I have had to plow through and fix.

I’ve heard rumors that some authors don’t care for this process. That they actually detest getting the edited manuscript back. But (knock on wood) not me.

I’d like to say I’ve been fortunate so far and haven’t had to do any rewrites, but the fact is, if I really think about it–I did. Arranging Love, the final book in the Tilling Passions series required some “tweaking”. There’s an interesting dance between what appears to be happening and what is truly happening in the story. In order to mislead the reader (sorry people, but that’s what suspense is all about *rubs hands together* Mwahahahaha) I worded things a particular way. But the first time around, it didn’t work quite right. So I rewrote several scenes, choosing my words more carefully.

The senior editor then passed the book onto my editor. A lovely woman, Jean Cooper, who scrutinized each line of dialogue in these pivotal scenes veeery carefully. Then there was more rewriting and back to Jean. And so it went back and forth two or three times until everything sat just right with both Jean and me.

It was an amazing process and one I know made the book stronger. It was also a wonderful learning tool that will help me make my writing better.

I trust my editor completely. After three books together, she knows me and my writing. When something just doesn’t ring true, or the quality is lacking … she calls me on it. And I could kiss her for it. (Jean’s also forgiven me on my total inability to have a clue with commas. To make her life easier, I should just stop using them and let her just add them to my manuscript. She basically does it anyway. They’re never in the right place. Ah, but I digress…)

We’ve now started edits for Blue Moon Rising. Are there problems? … you betcha! Does it mean fixing scenes and some rewriting? Oh yeah! Am I the least bit insulted or hurt that she doesn’t quite like the wording in this dialogue or the way a character is thinking through the scene? Not even sort of.

I love rising to the challenge of making my stories tight, steamy and with a flow that keeps my readers coming back for more.

With my editor’s help, I’m not slapping on a bandaid and glossing over the problem. I’m stitching up the manuscript to make it … alllll better!  😀

All I can say is thank you for editors like Jean. I can’t imagine where my stories would be without her!

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