Last week, I received feedback on the FATE manuscript from the freelance editor, Lorin Oberweger (http://www.free-expressions.com/site/default.htm). She gave me feedback in two forms. The first, a line-by-line edit which went through the entire manuscript. A very thorough critique.
Thankfully, she found lots of glaring plot holes, for which I am eternally grateful.
I did not expect a lot of grammar corrections, but obviously I do not know how to used the word “toward” properly (there is no ‘s’ in toward!), and am woefully ignorant about the proper use of semi-colons (alas; my favorite punctuation). She pointed out a multitude of passive and weak word choices, but happily, thanks to my Margie Lawson Deep EDITS course, I was already aware of those, and working on them.
The biggest benefit she offered came in the form of her summary report, which I received several days after the manuscript mark-ups. Almost all of her summary observations resonated with me, and I’ve begun implementing most of them. Some, I’d already realized and had already completed the manuscript changes. Others rocked my world.
She suggested that I was spending too much page time on scene sequels, and suggested that I shorten the protagonist’s internalizations. Excellent advice. She also suggested pumping up and clarifying the protagonist’s goals, throughout each scene. Also excellent advice. Finally, she made several suggestions about sharpening goals and motives for some of the secondary characters, and asked several clarifying questions about the plot. I wasn’t sure if I needed to do this, but figured I’d think about it.
Two days later, the Muse came for a nice long visit, and hit me with one great idea after another. I got two new subplots and a partridge in a pear tree. Threads and minor characters (which had been sitting around doing nothing), suddenly became available to tie different elements of the plot together in a new way, deepening the suspense, characterizations, and motives. Honestly, I do not believe that these flashes of inspiration would have come to me if not for the questions and suggestions from the freelance editor. I’ve got less than another week to go on the (I hate to say it, since I’ve said it so many times before) final edit. Lorin, you must be on a direct link to the Muse. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
How wonderful, Sharon!! You picked an awesome editor and I can’t wait to see your book in print ;-))
You sound excited. Congratulations! You are on your way.