Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Edits…A Cornish Stranger

Well, I had a lovely month off in November. I worked on a new project during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), A Cornish Affair won the Festival of Romance's Reader Award for Best Romantic Read (still smiling) and I read lots….
A Cornish Affair with it's award

Now comes December…A Cornish Stranger time. I haven't looked at the story since I pressed send at the end of October which is a good thing. I needed distance. My edits arrived and any hope I had that I had done better crashed to the floor. As I read through the pages, yes pages, my heart sank lower. Had I learned nothing? And as I wanted to scream NO a quiet little voice at the back of my brain said…she's right you know. My editor is brilliant and she really 'gets' my writing even when I don't. I know that sounds weird but I become lost in the story and can't see 'the whole' and she can, which means she sees the holes…holes big enough to drive a truck through.

So I read the edits through and sort of cried…yup big wuss. I felt I had failed. Then I read them through again and tried to sleep…tossed and turned all night. Then woke and spent the day watching rugby and the Dubai 7s and let my mind do it's own thing and did that the next day too. On Sunday morning I had another sneaky read then continued to do other things.

Woke Monday and took out my highlighters...

And then began to go through the pages of notes and begin to jot down the things my mind had been working out while I enjoyed the rugby (and as you can see by the pics below I enjoyed the rugby!)….
The 7s fans are brilliant!

DS1 and Liz Fenwick

What i really enjoy about the rugby - shallow I know!
And one of things I saw clearly was that I my heroine wasn't developed as she should be because so many of the things my editor pointed out…shouldn't have been queried. I hadn't done my job.
So all through Monday I kept rereading the notes realising that there were only really three HUGE problems…so not sooooooo bad after all (still a lot of work ahead on me but somewhat manageable I hope)
So Tuesday morning I emailed my editor with some of my thoughts and we bounced ideas back and forth (I love this bit because somehow she makes my brain spark and I get ideas left right and centre. I also love how she never tells me how to do or fix anything…just just tells when things don't work.) After those emails I made more notes and only then did I print off the first chapter and begin to revise/edit
And so it goes….each  morning I read read all the notes, especially the first pages which highlight the big issue that I need to keep at the forefront of my brain as I work through the problems big and small. And it gives me a huge thrilled to but a tick next to the items I've dealt with….

And I have to say I am so grateful that I have an editor who puts this much thought and work into my books. 

So many people have asked me about the editorial process and does it change my books? Well, yes and  it's still my book but I hope and pray and much better book. 

PS…Tere a few days left to enter a Goodreads Giveaway for A Cornish Affair (even if you already have the book it might make a good Christmas present! Goodreads Giveaway


Diane said...

Chin up Liz ... I'm with you every step of the way ...dusting off the dancing shoes as I send these best wishes and thoughts :)

Liz Fenwick said...

Diane, I can't tell you how much your support means!!!

catdownunder said...

From where I sit (unpublished) I could almost look forward to reaching this point but I know it will be a feeling of "this is my baby and you are performing major surgery and I am worried that I won't recognise my child when you have finished" - but it has to be done!

Liz Fenwick said...

Hi Cat. It's strangely enjoyable…even a few days in and I can feel the book getting stronger…hopefully this will continue but I do have stamp down the FEAR…

And your day to do this will come x