Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Is It Done Yet?

Why is overediting not recognized by MSWord? Does that mean it's like drinking water, eating vegetables, and walking--it's pretty dang impossible to do too much of these things?

My second manuscript got some early attention from some very kind persons in the agenting and publishing world. They only saw ten pages mind you. But something about my words sparked their interest. The novel wasn't completed yet, so I was encouraged to take my time and send it to them when it was ready.

Well, once I typed The End, I sent the novel off to my Beta Readers and went over it line, by line, by line...  I made sure it was grammatically and mechanically shiny. I took all the feedback I received and implemented it. Without question. I even cleaned those first ten pages because, hey, even though they were liked, surely they weren't pretty enough.

I never heard from the publisher, but the amazing agent (who had it in her heart to look at the full on two different occasions from me) nicely told me that somewhere in all those edits, I quit trusting my character's voice. I had to separate myself from the book for several months. Then, I took out the ten pages I initially wrote and compared them to those edited pages. They were as if they were written by another person. I'd turned my snarky teen and her slightly uptight boyfriend into a butterfly and a marshmallow.

As I pound away at my work in progress, I try to implement the things I've learned through trial and error on my other manuscripts.  Now that I'm older and, hopefully, slightly wiser, I will edit, edit, edit... but I'll also remember why I wrote something a certain way to begin with.  

photo credit: Proofreading marks example via photopin (license)


  1. I've done this same thing. Too often that spark, that THING, we loved about our story gets lost in the muck. Somehow stepping back is a great way to reconnect. And, if we could learn to trust ourselves a little more in the first place! :)

    ALSO: I know this story and LOVE it. One of my favorite protagonists of ALL time. <3

  2. Wise words, Marlana! I'm going to ditto Rina on this one too. :)

  3. Thanks Rina and Diane. :) I think it bounces back to confidence. If we can just trust ourselves and 'be real' it will convey on those pages. *wishes confidence came in a pill form* LOL