Well....let me edit that....Two words: EDITS SUCK.
Any author will tell that the 'fun part' is planning and writing the first draft. The blank page is full of possibilities and you're gleefully putting your characters through story and emotional arc hell as you pound through adding words NaNoWriMo style for weeks on end.
Surely my first draft was perfect, right? All ready to 'just hit send' to be published and sell loads of copies. RIGHT?
The 'real work' comes when it's time to edit.... Usually it's little things like...ya know...a plot....or character depth or burning continuity questions like 'What happened to the dog that saved the little girl in Act 2? Where'd he go?' and 'Why did her hair change from short to long in the sixteenth chapter?'
Back in February, I hired my first real editor - Jessa Slade at Red Circle Ink - for a mix of story and copy edits. Jessa is my kind of straight-shooter-editor. The name of her company isn't a lie...there were many red circles and loads of red ink on my manuscript...well not literally since Jessa uses MS Word Track Changes, but the metaphor still applies. Her overall comments letter alone was ten-pages long - TEN single-spaced, twelve point, Times Roman font long AND she liked and enjoyed my story! (Just think what I would've gotten back if she hated it. Well, I guess 'hate' is a strong word....Jessa probably doesn't 'hate' anything she reads...just sees room for improvements. Ha!)
Anyhow, Jessa gave me loads of things to think about with regards to my world building and character development. It took me a few weeks just to answer all of the questions she raised in her comments letter. Now I'm slogging my way through her specific Track Changes comments in my manuscript compile like Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang going up a humungo hill. Life is bogging down my progress, but I can already tell that my work is stronger from the effort.
Dreams are hard work but I'm used to doing tough things. And just like any hill, eventually you reach the peak and coast on a downward slope. I just hope my Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang sprouts its wings so I can soar to publication. :D
The driving guitars and 'oh-oooohhhhss' slay me every time! Add the trippy dream like graphics to the mix and you end up with one hell of an ear worm with optics to boot.
Now back to my edits....