Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Editing ASH / Thanks, Jamie

**Those of  you who are participating in the A to Z are troopers! I didn't have time this year to participate or to even log on daily but I'm digging the topics I've seen. Stay strong!**

I'm wandering about for the first time in the Mirkwood that is the editing process. Not edits in general, like ones I've done myself. I'm referring to the process where you send a person your book and they equip a hammer and a helmet and attempt to beat the stupid out of it without the resulting unbound stupidity killing them to death.

I want to share this process with you for a couple reasons. I haven't posted in a while. And this process is, to me, awesome. It's a bit like surgery for a story.

Before this I was new to the "Review" tab of Microsoft Word (despite that I work at a technical college and have sat in for a teacher's advanced Microsoft Office class). It only took a little while to see how it all worked and I've gotten quicker and cleaner about it... much to Jamie's relief, I'm sure.

So here are some changes Jamie offered in the first 85+ pages of the manuscript. The changes he makes are ALL suggestions. I'm free to listen or ignore. I'm free to get defensive or get smart. I try to choose the latter.

What a great example of why I need an editor. I'm sitting here all smug about funny little Aedron, cluttering about with his blanket until Tahkaan gets enraged. So much so that I miss the obvious dumbassery.
Thanks, Jamie.

Yes, I do think Brandal's speech should match that tone. And so I've rewritten the entire scene, giving more weight to Esmond, Blaire, Samberd and the story Brandal tells in general.
Thanks, Jamie.

This one's a bit trickier. When something's underlined with no comment Jamie's basically saying it didn't sit well with him (I'm paraphrasing).

My initial reaction was, "Nah, it's good. Next!"

Then I looked again. "Ok, change transport to wagon. Tonnes is fine. Done and done. Next!"

Then I thought about it. He wouldn't have underlined it if it weren't a weak spot. And my goal shouldn't be to make the story passable. It should be to make each and every sentence gripping and unique and perfect. To do ANYTHING less would be squandering the dollars of my pre-orderers / pledgers / purchasers. And they don't deserve that.

So here's what I did.


Jamie hasn't seen it yet. His red pen might devour it like piranhas on a leg of cow. But as yet, I've executed something mediocre.

Thanks, Jamie.