Editors untangle my muddled thinking

On the tenth day of Christmas…

Instead of counting the official twelve days of Christmas, I’m counting down the twelve days before Christmas to offer my gratitude for the people and things that make the writing life possible for me.

Today it’s editors.

I need to give a shout-out to the wordsmiths who make my writing stronger, clearer, better.

It is a daunting task to get an email marked “editorial notes.” It means your world is about to be turned upside down.

Here you are, approving your cover, thinking about where to market your book, and the final edits come. (At least you think they are final. Ha Ha. LOL)

For Inn by the Lake and The Last Gift I had a wonderful editor, thanks to Champagne Books. Jennifer Windrow understood my book better than I did. Sure, there were the little things, such as overused words, repeated reactions, starting six sentences in a row with the same word.

But she did more than that. She pushed me hard to make the feelings of my characters truer, to understand their motivations and fears better, to untangle my own thinking. Talk about a big task.

It’s hard. Seriously perspiration-inducing to take a cold look at your perfect story and know it has to change. I rewrote the middle of Inn by the Lake. Then I rewrote the ending of The Last Gift. Seriously rewrote. Whole new chapters were inserted. The old ones went off into the recycling file.

And so I offer my thanks to editors — for all my writing — because they did their best to make me a better writer. I hope they’ve succeeded.

Thank you. Thank you.

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