The Race to the Deadline Continues . . .
Gibber gibber gibber gibber GLEEEEEP.*
Thank you. But it’s a good thing it’s virtual. I’d be leaving bruises.
Yes. I understand completely.
Sigh. I’m very sorry. Grateful, you know, but sorry.
It’s always like this. “I absolutely love the book and have just a few things I think need tweaking” says Editor (or something like that, except for the time a Former Editor was incredibly snotty & made sure I got an in-house email full of damning with loud damns and no praise at all. Very, VERY Former, that editor.)
And the problem, at least for those of us of a neurotic turn, is that however ex- that editor is, we remember them. We remember them at all the worst possible moments, and we remember them like sitting on a pitchfork. YOW.
But then it turns out that Editor has not grasped the importance of the relationship between A and R, does not understand why you can’t just excise this “slow” paragraph, wants “more background” to something that you backgrounded five chapters before, and what Editor thinks can be done in “just a few hours, really” takes for-blinkin-EVER because every single change changes something else, and you have to think hard about every single one of them, often multiple times.
Yes. This. I also like the probably-looks-perfectly-sensible-from-their-end suggestion that you take Scene W and put it back with Scene B where it more clearly goes. Well. No. In the first place you’re seeing it at W from a different angle than you were at B and furthermore, this world-building thing is a ratbag. You break it up, and lever a little in here and sprinkle a little in there, you should get away with it. You smack W up against B and you have an Expository Lump.
It’s not always clear what Editor meant when deleting a couple of lines (slow? fast? boring? distracting?)
Or—one of my favourites—the tidying-up without comment change of something that was obviously just a careless error. NO. WRONG. IT IS NOT AN ERROR. STET. ARRRRGH.
and thus finding the right fix–or deciding if Editor must’ve been having a coffee break with a dash of something else in it and actually those deleted lines are, as you thought initially, absolutely necessary right there and in those exact words.
Or possibly you and Editor are different species from different galaxies. I think this often. It would be against Editor’s best interests to drive his/her authors to find jobs as bricklayers and taxi drivers, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?** So there has to be some other explanation for the yawning communication chasm.
And this is so with the best Editors in the business. Intelligent, sensitive, skilled readers and analysts…and if they don’t get something, how can readers be expected to?
YES. THIS IS THE THING THAT REALLY KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT. IF AN INTELLIGENT EDITOR, PAYING ATTENTION, DOESN’T GET IT . . . AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH.
And you worked so hard on that in the first place…it’s not like you were a careless, slapdash writer who just tossed those words in to bring it up to its required word count.
Or that scene in. Here you thought that scene was crucial to character development or was the Fabulous Big Reveal about the Mystery of the Heroine’s Talking Footstool.
Revisions are one head-desk and face-palm and blank-stare-at-wall-wondering-if-after-all-you-should-go-back-to-bed-forever
With your knitting. And Green & Black’s. And maybe somebody else’s novel(s).
after another. At best. And I like all my Editors,
::hums to herself:: I have liked most of my editors ::hums to herself some more::
and have had wonderful editors, and the one I have now is very, very good, but….BUT.
Yes. My current one is thoughtful and intelligent and takes pains and laughs at my jokes . . . BUT.
(Green & Black’s comes with peppermint centers? REALLY?)
Well, they do on this side of the pond: http://www.greenandblacks.co.uk/our-range/Bars/Mint?p=2669&c1=1559#first
What’s interesting is that I can’t find this on the American site. Not only is the only mint listed mere paltry mint-oil-infused chocolate, but it’s only 60% whereas my mint-fondant is 70%. If this anomaly is truly what it appears THIS GOES VERY HIGH ON MY LIST OF REASONS TO LIVE IN ENGLAND.
Anyway, condolences, virtual cups of tea or cocoa
Or both. In separate cups. No, in separate large mugs. Or possibly beer steins.
and many and varied small pastries and varieties of dark chocolate. It’s really hard. You’re really struggling. I wish I could make it better.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh. . . . .***
* * *
* An editor friend RT’d my tweet of last night’s post. Snork.
** Remembering the old publishing joke: Editing would be a great job if it weren’t for the writers. Yup. And writing would be a great job if it weren’t for the editors.
*** I did break to ring bells this afternoon and go to church this evening.^ There were only eight of us at the former, and we rang some pretty snaggedy Grandsire Triples which depressed everyone but me. I felt positively chirpy because we got through. A very few months ago, if I went off, that was the end. Chances are I’ll struggle back onto my line again now, at least if not more than one other person is going wrong at the same time.
Tonight . . . it was a communion evening, and when the vicar got up to hand the baskets out—we serve each other, so there are little baskets that make their way up and down the rows—he explained blandly that when he’d got the loaf out of the freezer he’d inadvertently pulled out a buttered baguette. Snork. Much better-quality bread than we usually have, but the butter I admit was a little distracting.
^And hurtle an assortment of hellcritters. One of whom is singing in her crate right now. LATER. LATER, drat you.
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