Finally got my line edits back…and I’m once again feeling out of my depth here.
There were a lot of things that I thought I had “fixed,” or at least to the point of acceptability, but nope. I’ve got adverbs and passive voice and (apparently, though I’m not sure yet where or how) head-hopping. The last problem I thought I had taken care of by removing the chapters with a different POV, but with a book that centers on a main character who is telepathic, it’s kind of hard to figure out where I could have “head-hopped” where it wasn’t part of the story to be “inside” a different character’s head.
I’ve been up for hours, but I’ve only really read the introductory comments prior to the actual edits and maybe a couple of pages of edits. It’s a lot. And it makes me doubt myself a lot.
I know I need to keep a thick skin when it comes to edits and not take it personally. The publishers want a good book, so they want it to be the best it can be. However, I find myself pretty much in tears just thinking about all I have to fix. In three weeks.
So what have I done these past few hours, besides stare at pages and pages of red lines?
Yeah. I’ve cruised the Internet, created the eleventieth draft of a possible badge design for SCA (which took a considerable amount of time, given that Photoshop was being a jerk), and stared at the Word icon on the taskbar with a sense of dread. I think part of what makes this so overwhelming is the fact that, with my first book, I had edits in spurts–a few chapters at a time, with several people commenting on the chapters at once. I had more time to fix the problems as well, as I was self-publishing and didn’t have a set deadline. Now all the edits–all of them–are in one fell swoop, all the revisions need to be done in one fell swoop, and it’s intimidating. I feel like the worst writer ever, even though I’m sure I had the same quantity of critiquing with Whispers of Death.
I’ll have some time to work on it this afternoon and this weekend. I’ll have time in the mornings before work, as I always do. I’ll have some afternoons here and there when I’m off (provided that I’m not mid-move–the loan paperwork has been submitted, so that is also looming on the horizon). I can do it, but I’m still full of doubt. I just see myself failing all over the place. So discouraging.
Maybe this afternoon once I get off work I’ll be in a better frame of mind to focus on the story and on the revisions that need to be made. Right now, all I see is a failure of a writer, a hack, and that frame of mind isn’t going to help me at all.

2 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. ‘with a book that centers on a main character who is telepathic, it’s kind of hard to figure out where I could have “head-hopped” where it wasn’t part of the story to be “inside” a different character’s head.’
    I’ve run into this problem myself: An editor (or reader) who isn’t familiar with SF/F believes that showing what one character thinks through the viewpoint of another character who is telepathic is “head-hopping,’ because they don’t take the context into consideration.
    It’s not head-hopping to have a telepathic character know what another character is thinking; you’re showing only what the telepath perceives, after all. Also, this editor may be incorrect about the passive voice — way too many people these days think ALL ‘be’ verbs are passive — and a bit… hypervigilant about adverbs. Unless the editor is with the publisher and thus someone you must obey in regard to changes to your manuscript, I strongly recommend taking all suggested changes with a grain of salt (or possibly the proverbial hip boots and a shovel, depending on what kinds of “corrections” you got in the red-inking).
    (“created the eleventieth draft of a possible badge design for SCA” Thanks for mentioning this. I know someone who could really use some encouragement in the form of a reminder than experienced SCAdians don’t get this sort of thing perfect on the very first try, either.)
    I wish you luck and sanity, and as little stress as possible.

    1. Thomas,
      It’s actually the publisher who did the edits, so yeah, I have to “behave.” Lol And actually I’m fairly new to the SCA, as I’ve only been playing just over a year. Just a very territorial Leo who wants to mark my stuff 😉

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