Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two Words Writers Should Never Use...

Sorry for the delay everybody!  I’ve really been neglecting this blog.  But I think I have good reason. You see, I’ve been getting my second book, Betrayal in the Highlands, ready for publication.  From what I understand, it’ll be released at the end of September.  Keep your fingers crossed!

At any rate, I’ve been working with a wonderful editor, Kimberly Grenfell (if you need terrific story or line editing, give her a try. She has extremely reasonable rates!). We’ve finally gotten the manuscript in good shape and off to the publisher.  Which leads me to today’s topic.

I’ve worked with several different editors over the years and I’ve learned something very valuable.  It seems that I am exceedingly reluctant to accept edits, especially when the matter is subjective (e.g., he said versus said he).

Even when things are clearly wrong, I get this tightness running down my back and I mentally say two words that writers should never use…

“Yeah, but…!” 

Yeah, but… I really wanted that word misspelled!  The English language is dynamic and I’m trying to usher in a new era where “their” is spelled “thier”!

Yeah, but…it really doesn’t matter that the name of that character keeps changing! Aragorn had multiple names! In fact, maybe that person in the chapter four is a cross dresser, which is why I keep interchanging “he” and “she"!

Yeah, but…this is a fantasy novel!  Maybe the dead guy from chapter three was resurrected! That’s how he appeared in chapter thirty! Or maybe he had a twin! Ever think of that?

It’s all so stupid of me, I know.

I’m not sure why I’m so resistant to changing things.  It’s one of my worst character flaws. 

How DARE you suggest that my plot doesn’t make sense!  Clearly you just don’t “get it”!! Hummmpf!

In fact, I once got a letter from a publisher politely suggesting that I make some plot changes and I kept thinking, “BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT HAPPENED!” -- as if my story were really true and I was just recording the facts.  Ugh! I'm an idiot.

It’s difficult to change.  But in order for me to become a successful writer, I really have to let go of that resistance.  I’m not saying that I need to blindly accept all of the edits.  I personally have very strong opinions about “he said” versus “said he.”  But I need to be able to open myself up to the possibility that the changes being suggested make my story better. Moreover, just because the editor wants to change every fifth word, it’s still MY story.

Well, that’s it for today.  Back to my day job and the stack of exams I have to grade.  Before I go, just a friendly reminder…if you’ve read my book and haven’t already done so, please post reviews wherever you can (,,, etc.) and please tell all of your Facebook, Goodreads, G+, and real friends!

Thanks!! See you next time!