Thursday, December 20, 2012

Second Draft

With my bubble popped and asked to work with a program completely foreign to me, I was intimidated to begin my re-write.  I didn't even know Track Changes existed on my computer.  My editor walked me through it on the phone and I thought I understood it until I hung up.  Unsure of myself, I waited for my son-in-law to give me an in-person tutorial.  That's when I got brave and dove in.

Looking at the train wreck I called "Chapter One", it's a wonder I wrote another, let alone twenty more.  Decided the pro knew the proper punctuation, so I accepted all those changes.  That made the screen much easier to deal with.  Then, I just had her comments to consider and there were plenty of them.  One at a time, I dealt with each as most required changes.  I was open to her suggestions and with new eyes saw where she was coming from.  Because I usually write with pen and paper, it was awkward at first to make changes on the computer screen, but I have grown more comfortable with the process.

Took four days, but I think I am nearly done with two chapters and they are much improved.  The issues I need to address in future chapters are far fewer, but I do have major character development changes to deal with.  The end product will barely resemble the first draft.  I am enjoying the process and time permitting around family and holiday festivities, I will soon begin my first attempt at a second draft of my third chapter.        

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Editor

That's right kids, I have one.  After I decided who to work with, my patience was tested.  My editor actually had to read the manuscript before responding.  The waiting was rather brutal, but not as much as her report back.  I have never seen so much red in a document in my whole life.  Made me feel like an illiterate taking a doctorate course.  But, my editor is thorough and experienced.  She also discussed the substance of the story and to read the main character was flawed did not boost my confidence either.  All added up, I wondered if my dream was worth holding onto.  We have been down a long road together and, like a loved one, you don't let go easily.

After a day of introspection, I asked the editor for a phone conference.  She wasn't the big, bad, dream killer after all, just trying to improve the marketability of my book.  I like my editor and I like to say "my editor"!  She is the first completely non-biased person to read my story and although her comments felt harsh initially, she was honest and professional with her analysis of my work.  So, like every other writer, a second draft is in order.  I never envisioned how much more work I'd have to do, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The main thing is I have the final say with this publisher, but I do need to listen to their advice.  That's what I pay them for.  Thus, it's back to the man cave for me to make fixes.  I hope there aren't too many more surprises along the way.  It'd be nice to publish this in my lifetime and write another.  I will be so much better informed the second time around.

Stay tuned, the dream lives on.