Breathe

I received the initial response back from the consulting service. I’m trying to take it all in. And reminding myself to breathe. This isn’t an edit, it’s an overall diagnosis of the story, the structure, the flow.

I agree with many of her recommendations. Especially around clarity.

I disagree strongly with one, and it’s a huge one. The structure changes she’s proposed, at a high level, seem contradictory to what I want from this story. It would change the entire premise of what this is all about. Which means I haven’t made the purpose of the story very clear. It means I have a lot more work to do. And that’s okay. It’ll keep me busy for a long while, at least.

I’m hoping I have a chance to talk this over with her next week, to see if I can at least explain what I’m trying to do. And then see if we can work together towards that goal. I may need a second opinion from someone else. I may need to look for someone new. Regardless of the outcome, her feedback has been invaluable.

Overall it’s been a positive experience and it’s making me think and reevaluate the story as a whole. That’s always a good thing.

Breathe.

4 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    I’m wondering if the editor’s lack of clarity stems from how the angels story began. Two things: it was based on a writing prompt and it was ostensibly set in the Trixie universe. Without that back knowledge, even if you’ve made great changes since then, it may not be as clear.
    Just my two cents worth of a thought.

    • viv s says:

      Yep, the writing prompt is a bit of a challenge. I’m thinking of writing the sins out of it completely (I already wrote the Trixie setting/characters out) but I’m just not sure how that would work. And it’s not that the sins aren’t clear, it’s that they dilute the focus of the story because it’s really not about the sins at all. Still so happy your prompt inspired me to write so much! 🤗

  2. Deanna says:

    First of all, congratulations on this milestone in the novel writing process. Most people never get this far!

    Second, yes, definitely breathe! I think from reading your post that you have the right mindset here. You don’t have to literally and explicitly do everything your editor suggests. Rather, it is better and more productive and valuable to breathe, take a step back and think about why she is suggesting that, which sounds exactly like what you are doing.

    Having someone read your work who hasn’t seen it before provides new insight as to what is coming through and what is not coming through in the writing. Making sure your purpose, your reason for writing the story is accessible to the reader is of upmost importance. It can feel frustrating when it is revealed that is not happening on what you thought was your ‘final’ draft. I know because this is exactly what happened to me!

    Good news is that is the hard part: the identification of the problem as: oh, my message isn’t coming across. More good news is that once you know what the problem is, there are many ways it can be fixed. What your editor suggested is only one possible solution, which sounds like may work for her, but doesn’t work for you. I’m confident now that you’ve gotten the feedback, you’ll be able to craft a way of clarifying your message without undermining other aspects of the story that are important for you to keep.

    I know you can do it! And, I hope you know, if you need anyone to read any future revisions, my inbox is all sorts of open!

    Hugs and kudos on this next step of the journey!

  3. Susan says:

    Yay! So glad she got back to you and gave you a lot of great suggestions and ideas to improve your story. I’m glad it’s an overall positive experience!!

    I hope the major structural issue that she disagrees with you on is something you can talk out and find a way forward on. Sometimes, it’s helpful for the editor to see the overall picture of where everything is going on the larger arc. Maybe that will help!

    I’m just so proud of you for taking this step and for really going into it with a positive attitude. Keep breathing and use the opportunity to really dig in and mine and find new facets of your story that will make it even better than it already is!!

    And getting more eyes on it and a different viewpoint never hurts either.

    Eeek! So excited for you!!! *hugs*

    Keep breathing!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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