Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Edits. Not as scary as they sound

I'm sure you've all heard writers grumble about the dreaded edits. I have and I was terrified while I waited for mine to arrive. The more time that past, the more my terror grew and I was positive I'd receive my manuscript, full to the brim with changes, errors and suggested revisions. After all I'd only written Miles and Anna's story, The Monster of Fame, in November. Surely it was teaming with mistakes and plot holes.

Honestly, I hadn't read this book since February. I revised it early March, only tweaking bits here and there before I sent it to Beachwalk Press. When the first round of edits arrived, I was over the moon. There wasn't much to do, and everything my lovely editor suggested was spot on. But, this was only the first round. I have no idea what round two will bring, but I'm glad my editor is breaking it down in increments. Less scary.

I did go back and read the story again while I was doing the edits, and I was surprised by how much I'd forgotten about these two. I'd given myself a bit of a handicap in the first draft of this story. Both Anna and Miles wanted to win the reality singing contest for very different reasons. Anna's dad had left them years ago with a ton of debt and no way to pay it back. She'd dreamed of being a singer all her life, and the threat of losing her home gave her the confidence to enter the reality singing contest where the grand prize of the show was a multi-million pound record deal.
Miles, a judge in the competition and owner of a multi-billion pound record label, wanted Anna to fail. At the time his reasons were weak. They both wanted opposing things and one would inevitably have to give up their goal to accommodate the other. That wouldn't do, so I dug deeper into Miles' past. He lost his wife, a famous singer who he'd represented years ago. She couldn't handle the pressure the press and fame put on her, and he'd failed to notice her weakness until it was too late.
Seeing the same weakness in Anna, he tries to protect her by asking her to leave the competition. But Anna doesn't go down without a fight, and she works to prove herself to Miles, all the while fighting her attraction. She loses, and falls hard, right before it all comes crashing down. Gotta love torturing your characters ;o)

When I dug deeper into their personalities, I realised the core conflict wasn't Miles and Anna having opposing goals, but the fact that Miles is racked with guilt over a wife he loved dearly, and Anna being unsure about Miles' ability to love her and see her for who she really is.
Going over this story hasn't only given me a huge smile, its also helped me to understand Sander, the hero in Never Say Never, the story that's had me banging my head against walls. He's Miles' fellow judge on the show, and was in a famous boy band for years. I've been struggling with this story, and it might have been because I was worried about the edits. But now they've come and gone, I've gotten to know Sander again and the words are flowing freely.
I'm sure there will be edits I'll grumble about in the future, but this time around has helped me get back into the swing of Sander's story. Not to mention improving my writing.



  1. Love your post on editing. How do you find time to do all this?!?! Superwoman much? I love your conflicts in the book. Sounds intriguing.

    I too was shocked when there was hardly any red in my manuscript. That being said, there were much more corrections in my first round for the second novella, probably because I wrote it in three days and only sent it to one crit partner. A mistake I will not make again, lol. Some of the typos were shameful. *hangs head*

    I also love edits. I look forward to them, and I know Kaylie does too. I'm thrilled every time one of them pops into my inbox and I feel that I am very spoiled to have such a wonderful editor. I feel that we are very in sync and in some cases, even read eachother's minds!

    It's important to have someone supportive on your side when you have to go through the entire manuscript and change "cum" to "come" lol. How embarssing. *blush*

    1. Time to post? lol, who knows.

      I'm liking edits too. The second book I sold will need lots of work, and revisions I think, but I'm looking forward to that too. Just so excited at having sold it (after rewriting from scratch twice!) I don't mind what I have to do :o)