My worst editing nightmare? That would be the whole process of writing Into the Dark, the book that precedes Into the Light.
Into the Dark began as a story called Seven Days. Very often I write a prologue, which I then don’t include in the book.
Prologues serve as jumping off points for me, but once the book is written, I axe the prologue because it seems unnecessary.
Here is the prologue that got me started writing Seven Days:
Six days ago I died. Only I didn’t cross over or see a white light, or an angel, or any of the stuff you see in movies and read about in books. Instead, I landed in the body of my best friend, Millie. Now I have a choice to make. Stay in her body and live my life as hers, or leave it, and kill us both. I have one day left to decide. What would you do?
Just typing that now makes me shudder.
The writing isn’t very good. And I certainly would never pose a question to a reader. 4th wall break! But that is where I was with my writing at the time. And I can’t exactly fault myself because “everybody’s got to start somewhere.”
I submitted draft after draft of Seven Days to my then agent and she kept telling me how much she loved the story—she called it galvanizing, a word I had to look up—but the writing needed work. This went on for YEARS. But the book never went where my agent wanted it to go. She eventually dropped me. And really, can you blame her?
She suggested I take a master class, but my ego wasn’t ready to listen. A while later, my ego in check, I reached out to Georgia McBride, who at the time did free lance editing work, and begged her to whip my writing in shape. It still took a long time, but eventually I learned the difference between telling a story and crafting a novel.
I submitted Into the Dark for publication in 2014. That “final” version was the eighth draft, as in I’d written the novel eight times from beginning to end. I began writing the story in 2008, and by 2014 it was nothing like the original version, barely recognizable except that the premise, or rather the conflict presented in the original prologue, was still the heart of the novel.
Accepted by Month9Books I thought, FINALLY! I’m finally finished writing and revising this novel. And then I opened the email from the editor. Her note:
It would work better in present tense.
There was definitely some crying. Maybe a lot of crying. But I rewrote the whole thing, changing each verb, and struggling with how to write flashback scenes, until the whole novel was in present tense. It took me the entire summer of 2014.
That’s my editing nightmare. My Everest, if you will. But I made it. I think. =)
About the Author:
About Into the Light:
Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.
Find out more about the book at:
Giveaway Information: Contest ends August 29, 2016
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