Editors, First Twenty Pages, revisions, self editing

Freelance Editor Comments-Part II

I hope no one got the idea that I didn’t appreciate Freelance Editor’s comments on my first manuscript (see post below). They were right on. After I digested the information, I made like Edward Scissorhands and did a number on the first MS, working title “A Butterfly Heart.”

Then I took off for a fantastic three day weekend in blazing Palm Springs where I danced my butt off and have the sore feet and cramped calves to prove it. A couple of days ago I came back to reality and my dusty laptop.

There was a second e-mail from FE. Did I give him the first 20 pages to my second MS, “Strong Women Grow Here” ? My memory fails sometimes so I didn’t doubt it. I read the email closer and then I did this:

Hallelujah, he was supremely kind enough to read the first 20 pages of the second MS I submitted. I got it righto this time.

He was “…really quite impressed…the setting/situation–a women’s prison–is breathtakingly strong…You set up the characters quickly and forcefully. You stick to a very cinematic style-the camera is close to Juana, we see and feel and hear what she sees and feels…

The story really sets up and sustains a subtle but powerful ‘what’s going to happen?’ tension. We learn that Juana has been convicted of killing her husband, but it’s way too soon(the story seems to be saying) for us to see exactly what happened…

She’s a deep mystery and the facts are coming out at such a deliberate pace…I’m totally enthralled with this story…”

This is wonderful music to my ears, of course, and I’d like to say more, but can’t sound egotistical. It’s just that writers, especially non-published new ones, rarely hear more than one positive comment from a professional in the business.

FE did mention that I need to watch my run-on sentences and think more carefully about selecting the exact word that nails what I’m trying to describe. But I’m stoked, I’m going to keep revising the first MS until I get it right and then continue on with Juana’s story.

Until then I must return to revising, after I get an ice bag out of the freezer for my wrists.

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