Last week I met with the editor I had hired to do a substantive review of Riveted. For over an hour she talked and I wrote notes. In good news I didn’t throw up. It was hard (really hard) to listen to someone point out my flaws, but I was certain that her feedback would make me a better writer and improve my novel, so I persevered. I didn’t even cry (at least not out loud) when she told me that I wasn’t perfect and pointed out my abysmal sentence structure. (Yay me!)
During the whole meeting I took notes and recorded our conversation and now I have a to-do list for fixing what ails Riveted. The editor even gave me homework to get back to her within the week so she can see if I’m hitting the mark with my changes. I have no idea how I’m going to fit those things into the next few days when I also have a pile of laundry and paperwork threatening me from the corner, but I will find a way somehow. Thank goodness for long weekends.
Our meeting also reminded me that the inside of my head is an interesting place. Not just because that’s where my writing ideas come from…nope, but because I can’t seem to focus on any of the good things the editor said. The bad comments scream through bull-horns, and the good comments are whispering. I can hear the good things when I really try, but the critical comments are easier to remember and believe. (I have to work on that.)
A few things I will be fixing in Riveted:
* I need to add more personal information about my character’s hopes and dreams earlier in the book.
* I need to be less obtuse about the resolution.
* The main character’s relationship with the love interest needs to be tweaked to help the ending.
* Abysmal sentence structure. (snif)
Wow, that sounds intimidating when I write it down, but I just have to keep telling myself I have a plan. (And it is not running away to live in the sea.)
A few things the editor liked:
* The idea in general, and the way I chose to write it.
* The antagonist. – Yay, I loved to hate him while I was writing it.
* The supporting characters.
If someone else could listen-in on your thoughts, what would they hear? Most days my thoughts are pretty normal (if random and so constant they can be exhausting). Someone listening in might even get bored. Imagine you woke up one day and could hear the thoughts of another person. But there is a catch. You can’t choose not to hear them. You hear their thoughts while they are awake, asleep, happy, sad, crazed…everything. What would that do to you? Would you share your knowledge? Would you adapt? Would you be driven around the bend and potentially to murder? Spend twenty minutes exploring this new world.
NB. If you find yourself uninspired by the exercise, imagine the same situation, but you do not know the person whose thoughts you can hear… How would that change your reaction? Would you try to find them? Would you even believe in your own new skill?