Having spent some time phone conferencing with my editor this past week,I have a notebook full of notes ready to be implemented into my manuscript. Using my editor's encouragement as fuel, I set to work on high speed.
My first goal was to remove all floating body parts from the story. No need to call ghostbusters here...in writing floating body parts are phrases that literally cannot happen. Have you ever truly laughed your head off? It is a literary no-no to put these into books. If you haven't heard of this before, you are not alone. It was one of the publishing rules that I learned from my editor.
Once all of my body parts were safely where they belonged, I combed through my words to make sure that my tenses were consitent. It is so easy to jump from past to present tense when writing.
From there I cleaned up any extra words that weren't needed. I never realized before how REMOVING words can actually make your story stronger. Too many words can actually slow a reader down. Have you ever skimmed through a pargraph in order to jump to the important parts of a book? We've all done it from time to time. That's a prime example of how you were slowed down in your reading.
The hardest part of my revisions was to decide on which opening to use. My editor has read two different versions of my first chapter, giving me feedback on both. In the end it was clear that we both loved the original version best. It dropped the reader into a scene, and evoked questions into the heads. Know what happens when a reader has questions? They keep reading to find out what happens!
Now I'm assuming that if you have gotten to this paragraph you were engrossed enough to read on to find out what will come next in my quest for publication. Well you're in luck because I'm going to tell you! My manuscript will be sent back to the editor for a second round of editing, where we will polish up any loose ends before I stamp it as complete and tackle the next few chapters.
"You have a writer's heart," my editor said to me the other day. Those words keep me motivated when I have a moment of doubt, and help me to soar when I'm confident that my book will serve a purpose in this world.