My first round editorial letter arrived about 9 weeks after my agent sold the book. My editor, Jacquelyn Mitchard (I know! She's famous and fabulous!), gave me lots of lovely compliments to start off the letter. Things like: "It's exciting...and it's dark and it's just almost feasible in a magical realism way." AND..."When she talks in her head to the outlaws, it's bewitching."
Words to warm my heart. I beamed, my eyelashes fluttered with pride, I couldn't stop smiling....
....Until I read the rest of the letter. Yeah, not so heartwarming. Fix this, make that clearer, eliminate the info dump...you get the idea.
The thing is, after I was done (took me a little over two weeks working on it non-stop), I felt better. The things she spotted did need pruning and now my manuscript reads better, feels more authentic, and doesn't have a large SPLAT! of information somewhere in the center (something that my intelligent readers would NOT have needed anyway!).
In other words, she cleaned out my novel's attic and got rid of my junk––the feeble bits of unneeded garbage I'd shoved into the manuscript and had hoped no one would notice was there. Luckily, Jackie noticed and demanded (I imagine her pointing to the recycle bin with one hand, while pinching her nose closed with the other) that I get rid of the old useless junk I'd been holding onto. So I hoisted the dull, dusty verbiage over my shoulder and dumped it in my laptop trash bin. (Crinkle, crinkle...love the sound of emptying the trash).
Now that the attic has been cleaned, I sit and wait for round two, wondering what she'll find in my closet. Eeek...
'Til next time,