Those of you who have been following my blog will remember that I had hired Erin Stropes from kallista.ca to do a line edit of my novel Evermore: Call of the Nocturne. I am happy to announce that she has finished and returned my annotated manuscript to me. Or, I was happy until I found all the (valid) criticisms levelled at my baby. But not to worry, I did what any self-respecting writer would do. I went into the corner and cried.
After a couple of hours and a couple of hundred tissues, I pulled myself from my misery and began to focus on what I needed to change. After some thought, I identified three major issues with the plot:
- The ending was too difficult to understand.
- The timelock used during the story fizzles out as it approaches the deadline.
- One of the major characters disappears without reason for half the novel.
The first problem I was able to solve last night with some clever tinkering but the other two will take weeks of work as I read through the manuscript yet again. This will be followed by a second swing through the novel as I address the thousands of small (and yet valid) points that Erin raised. Following these two drafts, I will have to submit it again to Erin for a final line-edit review.
So while Erin’s editing has levelled a blow to my self-esteem and delayed the novel’s release for months, I still find that it was worth the time and the money (about $1200) to have the line edit done. Despite all the aggravation and extra work, the end result will be a manuscript that will be far more fun to read. Thus for those of you that are considering publishing your novel digitally on your own, I would fully recommend hiring an editor. They truly do pick up so many things that you missed. In fact, I would recommend three rules:
- Hire an editor.
- Your editor is always right.
- Your editor is ALWAYS right (it needs to be said twice)
Follow these rules (don’t forget to pay her) and you will be able to produce a manuscript that you won’t be ashamed of.