Saturday, June 18, 2011


If you've been following along on my rants (God help you), you know that I currently have two completed first drafts sitting on my desk waiting for something exciting to happen to them. The problem is, they are just that - drafts.

The first manuscript was completed in 2008. I "edited" it, queried it, submitted it for contests, and quickly realized that although the story was good, the writing needed a little work.

Here's where things get a bit sketchy.

You see, I LOVE to write. Putting my words on the 15" screen in front of me gives me a high I never realized until I started taking it more seriously. But when I try to alter those words, make them flow better, correct grammatical mistakes, remove those nasty words with -ly at the end of them, I lose my focus. I second guess myself. I change things that should be left alone, and leave the things that should be changed. And when I think of someone else critiquing my work I hyperventilate.

Enter my new friends from Twitter. My four wonderful crit group members, in our varying states of busy-ness, have introduced me to the real world of critique. And my other friends at #WritersRoad have made me realize that editing doesn't have to be painful. When I discovered that some people actually like editing BETTER than writing, I was shocked. Seriously?? You LIKE to do this?

And then it hit me. If I'm ever going to get my completed manuscripts into print and my assorted works in progress there as well, I need help. Professional help. The kind that's worth paying for. Talk about scary. It's like the next step in the 12 steps..."Hi my name is Brenda and I suck at editing."

Thanks to a friend from my critique group, I've discovered the wonderful people at "The Editorial Department". And, no kidding, they've been wonderful. Jane has even sent me her virtual vodka-valium-latte to help with my pre-editing jitters. In a few days I should get back my edited draft from the amazing Jesse Steele. I feel like I do when the kids are at camp. My baby is off in the big world, and I'm waiting to go pick it up--cuts, bruises, and alterations included.

So...wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes. Who knows? Maybe something exciting will happen.


tammara said...

I know how you feel, believe me, and I wish you luck.

Here's the weird thing about editing: If you think it should go, it should go. Trust that first gut feeling. Don't worry about "I shouldn't have done that" syndrome. I have never, EVER ruined anything I've written by removing something. Changing stuff sometimes turns into "just remove it" for me. Again, refer to above. You want a tight read. You want the reader to not be hung up in anything, to keep turning pages until her spouse is saying, "IT'S 3 AM AND YOU'RE STILL READING - WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?" Not that this has ever happened to me... Ahem.

Overdunne said...

Hi Tammara! I've been trying to reply to your post since the 19th, but blogger wasn't helping I've changed my settings! Let's hope this works!

Thank you for saying hello! And Who me? Stay up til 3 reading? Never!

Seriously though, I'll let you know how my adventures into professional editing goes. I'm actually looking forward to seeing my baby...bruised and tattered though it may be...