My editor returned the manuscript to me, and included with it was a thirteen page assessment of the work covering, characters, setting, plot, POV, and voice. It is quite thorough and at first a shot to the ego. This is the most challenging part of the writing process. Your work is laid bare and dissected. I’m not going to lie, it stings. The truth is, I agree with each and every of her points. I can see exactly what she is talking about. That I didn’t see it before is what the little voice in the back of my brain loves to nag me about. How did I miss all of these things? Am I really that bad a writer?
The reality is I know the story. I know my characters. They are all inside my head, I just forget that the reader isn’t. We, by that I mean writers, sometimes have this crazy notion that great books just fell out of their creators’ heads. Like Athena springing from Zeus’s forehead, they appear ready to be read and gushed over. It just doesn’t happen that way. Books are like swords in the sense that once they are out of the fire they need to be shaped, tempered, and honed to a sharpened edge. As writers we all know this. Sometimes it just takes thirteen pages to remind us why we hire editors in the first place.
So, where am I now? I’m at my laptop working on the changes that will bring clarity to my characters’ motivations, action that flows logically, and tension that leaves the reader griped. Oh and there’s plenty of typos and assorted boo-boos to fix. If all goes well I should have it all ready to go in the next month. That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. Besides, I started writing the book in 2011, so another month isn’t going to make that much of a difference, other that a much better book.