May 11, 2010

Tuesday Edit Crunch: A New Beginning

Okay, so maybe that subtitle has been done, but it's back! Remember this?
Introducing Tuesday Edit Crunch.
Sounds like a breakfast cereal made of old typewriter keys.

Tuesday Edit Crunch is an informative, fresh, concise, and an important part of this nutritious... blog...

It's back, baby! Know why? Because I tackled the critiques, the requested revisions for my first ms, and learned so much along the way, and then, last week, I received the critique and requested revisions for the second ms!
And it's a whole other ball game.
Point of interest: The editor sent me two of the reader's feedback questionnaires (I have no idea what the technical term for these 6-8 page surveys full of questions the readers answer about the ms they've been given to read and break down, but it was very interesting to see this part of the process). The catch? These readers had opposing feedback for major points of the book, including pace, tension, twist, climax, and resolution.


The good thing? They both liked it, urged its completion, and expressed confidence in the author's capability to do so.

Why did the editor send me these somewhat confusing documents, causing me to scratch my head? Here are some of my ideas:

  •  I can take the "Wow, incredible, exactly as it should be" (and I'm totally paraphrasing there) feedback and use it to bolster myself as I face the "was this meant to happen, lost momentum, eye roll" feedback.
  • I need to learn I cannot please everybody while blowing others' socks off.
  • I need to address the confusion, clarify, let the true direction show, because I really don't want to mislead anyone through the story.
  • I was right about certain worries about the plot. Now I have some feedback about those exact same issues.
  • One reader knew this was a sequel, and had read the first book, and expressed how the flow worked. The other was unaware of this being a sequel, and needed more info and history to embrace the character/story. I've already worked on this, trying to find the balance in transitioning from one story to another, and making things clear enough to be understood by someone who hadn't read the first one, but avoiding the info dump that would bore someone who had.
  • Both readers expressed praise, encouragement, and trust that this will be loved by the audience. Whew.
I had several questions for the editor concerning some of the comments and their contradictions, word count, etc. The editor's answer?

Do what you think is best with the comments, and use your best judgement in the rewrite. And cut the prologue.

Which I knew they would say, and I did. CUT. No more prologue. Better.

The next few weeks I'll be sharing what I'm learning this time around. Lesson #1? You never stop learning (yeah, I already knew that one), and it's great, and scary, to hear that people trust you to trust your gut.

Any "trusting your gut" stories out there? Share 'em!

I hope you enjoyed this new edition of Tuesday Edit Crunch. I'm looking forward to next week's lesson already! And remember, watch out for the K's. They're especially crunchy!


Annette Lyon said...

Oy. Getting the evals is never fun--especially when they contradict. Sometimes I can sit back and realize that something is wrong with an element, but both diagnosed it incorrectly and I can find my own solution.

Ironic that they told you to cut the prologue. I've been TOLD to add a prologue to THREE books!

Krista said...

TOLD to add a prologue? Wow. It sure is different for everyone, isn't it? Thanks, Annette.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...