I’ve been working the last two weeks on the conceptual/developmental edits for LIGHTBRINGER. This is the first of three phases of editing Edits that Rock does in a manuscript level edit. Rochelle sent me a sixteen page analysis with specific suggestions for revision and explanations for those requests. In several places she reminded me that these were suggestions and that LIGHTBRINGER is my book.
The relationship an author has with an editor who is buying her work, and an editor she hires, is necessarily different. In the latter case, the author is under no compulsion to follow the editor’s advice. She’s paid for it, but whether she takes it is entirely up to the author.
I read Rochelle’s feedback four times before I started work. The first time was to get an overview, the second through fourth times I took notes. I bounced ideas off my husband and friends (fortunately they’re quite resilient) and then I dove in. I agreed with most of Rochelle’s recommendations and have incorporated them. I thought a couple were off the mark.
One of the suggestions that was harder for me to do was adding a couple more scenes from one of the bad guy’s POV. At first I didn’t think it was necessary. Then I wasn’t sure where to put them, or what should be in them. Finally my subconscious sent me an email, and I was off. I had a blast writing these scenes deep in Dave’s POV. When I first drafted him, he was just a bad guy, doing what bad guys do. By the time I finished the book, Dave was going to be a continuing character in the series. And now, with the addition of these two little scenes, the reader will get to see Dave as more than a guy with a gun. Even better, these scenes help establish a tone that I didn’t know I wanted before, and foreshadow other events in the book, doing triple duty.
The next stage of edits will be deep line edits. I can’t wait! (Written with a certain amount of irony.)
As far as I’m concerned, my editors are worth every penny.