I’m finishing a major round of edits on my new novel. To give you a glimpse of the process, here are a few of the comments my editor wrote in the margins of my first draft.
“I would put this conversation under the microscope and consider making it more emotionally charged.”
Translation: Cut the characters’ too-clever banter. Instead, consider their emotional distress, think about the conflict between them, and dig deep to give this scene some real impact.
“Does the sartorial choice make her seem too cartoonish?”
Yes. I’ll cut the description. Even though, when I picture the character in my mind, she actually does wear Hello Kitty sneakers.
“I think having this uttered in two lines is a little awkward and maybe too much. How about: ‘F*** me, Mother Mary.’ Or ‘F*** me with a telephone pole.'”
Translation: My editor is awesome. (Also: in the manuscript, those aren’t asterisks.)
“I feel like he would notice the heavy bleeding immediately…”
Oops. Right. Fixed.
“I love this.”
Thank you. This comment makes all the hours of work worth it.
And so you know: The photo above signifies nothing metaphorical. I just liked the sight of last night’s clouds getting feisty around sundown.