Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unnecessary drama

Because I'm all about recycling, this is a melodramatic email I sent to a friend last weekthe day before I handed my manuscript over to my new freelance editor:

"I finished the latest version of my MS last night -- just in time to give it to that freelance editor person tomorrow. Ugh. I'm kind of sick about it, to be honest. It feels like the book I've been trying to write for five years has finally crawled out of me. Like some kind of paper baby. I know that's totally gross, but that's what it feels like. So yeah, it's weird, like really weird. And it makes me think of all the $#it that's happened in the last five years, and how much it helped me write this damn thing and how much it hurt it, too."

I know, I know. Like a scene from Twilight or something, right? My teenage angst is bleeding all over the screen.

The good news is this: when I gave my manuscript to the editor, it didn't feel quite as terrifying as I thought it would. She was cool and nice and smart and liked my glasses and she wasn't wearing a pashmina covered in cat fur (don't all editors wear those?). As a matter of fact, the handing over of my of MS -- the actual physical act of it -- brought me nothing but relief.

Oddly enough, we didn't talk much about my book. A full-blown synopsis wasn't part of the plan (I didn't want to plant any ideas into her head) and when she asked me "what's it about?" I had a real hard time answering. Beyond my pre-rewrite "it's about a girl who's dealing with the aftermath of her boyfriend's decision to become a Jehovah's Witness," I'm still sort of stumped. Which means I still have a ways to go. Blarg.

Anyways, for those of you who've read the recent elitist poo-poos about the value of hiring a freelance editor, I highly recommend letting a qualified stranger rummage through your manuscript. If you can find one who shares your taste in eyewear, that's a plus, too.


  1. Ooh, that "what's it about question". I've answered that a number of times this week and it never comes out right. It would be fun to have readers answer that question instead of the writer. Congrats on hiring an editor. Scary, costly, but totally worth the money in my opinion.

  2. Tara: Your book would be really tough to sum up, too. Lots of layers to break down.