Thursday, March 29, 2007

Revision Letters

Finally, two months after finishing THE ARCHANGEL PROJECT, I have received the edited manuscript and revision letter (that’s what I get for turning it in a month early). The first thing I always do when receiving a revision letter is look at its length. This one was seven pages. Ouch.

A closer inspection showed that the first page was all praise (editors can be so diplomatic) while the last page was final manuscript delivery instructions. So really five pages. I sucked in a deep breath and started reading.

This is the first time I’ve worked with this particular editor, so it was all unknown territory. I like her style. Her comments are insightful and well explained, hence the five pages. All were suggestions rather than dictates, and I only found one I disagreed with. Interestingly, several of her points had already been made by a reader at one of the production houses considering the project (a reader who had liked the book enough to send it up to her producer—we’re still waiting), so I know the comments are spot on. I’m not saying the revisions are going to be easy, but it will be a matter of adding stuff rather than reworking or reorganizing or—most painful of all—cutting. Even when I agree with an editor’s suggestions (which I usually do), my first reaction is always, Oh my god. How can I do THIS? But the solution has always come to me in the past, so I’ve learned to try to be calm and let my subconscious work on it. Although there’s always that niggling little fear that maybe this time I won’t be able to find a way to make the changes, that the mojo is broken and I’m doomed…