Editors do edit, but first they find manuscripts and proposals to read. I spent an afternoon last week and this afternoon working with an author who has stories we want to publish. She had already given me manuscripts to read and pass on to Nancy Knight, our main acquiring editor. This author has worked to make revisions Nancy suggested to make a manuscript more ready for the real edits.
Since this author and I are friends, I read for her and make suggestions to polish her work. We were old critique partners and now we’re at it again.
Why am I helping her polish? Each author needs to make his or her book as polished as possible. Seriously, polish your writing.
Head hopping or bouncing from head to head.
If you shift points of view too much readers get lost. Point of view (POV) is important. What if this means nothing to you, but you have a wonderful story? We’ll look at it and see if your voice, characters, and story speak to us or at least two of us. THEN, we’ll toss you aside because your manuscript has problems.
NO WE WON’T! We’ll try to show you what your book needs and how to “fix” it. If you commit the crime of head hopping, worthy of life in exile with no books to read, will we lock you away and take away your library card? NOPE, we’ll explain how to let your readers feel what one character feels long enough to make your readers want to be part of each scene.
Sam watched Sally eat her spinach. Usually he loved to watch her enjoy her meals, but today she shoveled the nasty mess into her pretty mouth like she hadn’t eaten in days.
“Sam, what’s wrong? You look ill?” Sally hadn’t tasted such delicious spinach in ages! She couldn’t stop eating to listen to what Sam was saying. He wasn’t happy with her and found her disgusting, but she couldn’t help it.
“Want more spinach?” he asked, though he didn’t think he could watch her take one more bite. He’d never eat spinach again.
Sally knew Sam was looking down on her for loving spinach. She’d never eat it around him again. He’d be happy then.
Can you make this read better by choosing one character’s thoughts to share?