After a few weeks of illness and utter chaos – one surely not helping the other – I’ve finally managed to make some progress on the edit of my second novel, affectionately referred to as HMW after the three main characters. For the longest time I was unable to conjure up anything but angst, but in the last couple of days I’ve made some awesome progress. So what’s with the curse?
My first professional editing experience wrapped up not so long ago with my novel Down in Flames, now published with Noble Romance. I don’t know how the editing process usually works, but my uber-fab editor took the time to explain a lot of her slicing and dicing so now I’ve got a whole new perspective on my own work – namely, it doesn’t matter how witty, clever, or fantastic my writing is. If I can cut it out and my story doesn’t miss it, then it doesn’t belong there.
But … but …!
Yeah, that’s brings us back to HMW. I adore this story. I love my characters. I’m NOT so fond of the “voice” of my DIF editor tsk-tsking my words when they don’t belong. (She may have never tsk-tsked anyone in her life, but I’m trying to make a point here, LOL.) There are certain bits and pieces which would have never seen the wrong side of the delete key if not for that echo of editing experience. Now little things snag me – things I wouldn’t have noticed before – and just like that I’m deleting my beloved words.
And a funny thing happened: my story is tighter, stronger, more on task.
It’s almost one of those things you don’t want to admit. I didn’t argue with my Noble editor much – she always had a good point – but never, ever did I think I could come back and perform her sort of treachery on my own work. It’s one thing to have something pointed out to you; another entirely to figure it out yourself.
Make no mistake – I fully expect a “real” editor to eat HMW alive. And I’m okay with that. (Who wants an editor – or a publisher – who doesn’t care enough to, well, edit?) But for now, thanks to the “curse” of experience, I’m able to make a story I already loved even better, and darn if that’s not an awesome sort of feeling – deleted wordage and all.