Growing Pains…The Edited Manuscript

I completed my revised manuscript (MS). I revised and self-edited several times, probably not enough but I became anxious and looked to a developmental editor (DE) for help. I felt fairly confident in my work, better than the last few stories. I knew there was more to work on, after all…I am new at this stuff.

I had no idea how much work was needed. Wow, am I terrible at this. I thought my story was clear (in my head it was). Some of the comments the DE had, proved to me that she was confused with my story. I didn’t communicate my point very well. There are too many miscues.

One major miscue was the ending. I tried to end it with a twist (I will be cutting that out). The twist was going to be a blackmail of someone for another character’s murder. Well, the murder already happened but the way I worded it sounded like the main character was going to kill someone else or the murder was for another that isn’t dead. Major fail!

If that last paragraph is confusing, I am sorry. I am trying not to explain too much about the characters because if I state who they are, I may give away part of my story. I want you to read the book after I fix some of the content that’s flawed. The plot and dialogue (according to the DE) is very good. I need to straighten out some of the material in the twists, sub-plots, and ending.

I also need to explain to new readers what the heck is going on. How do I do this as a new writer? My mom used to read VC Andrews. She told me her series (I don’t know it) was stand alone books with the the same characters in each book. I am thinking I should read book one and book four of her series. This will show me how she was able to introduce the characters as well as not bore the familiar readers with old information.

Ironically, I am not big on reading series books. I love to write my series, though. I am in love with all the characters. Even Lisa, the annoying busy body that seems to get involved in everything. If she were a real person, honestly I wouldn’t want to be her friend, but boy is she an awesome character.

A conundrum I have is I love to write the novelettes as opposed to the novels. I don’t have the attention span to create an entire novel. I could take my books and bundle them. I can create a Stephen King book bundle like The Green Mile. I would have to wait a year or so in order to write multiple novelettes so I could prepare them. That would mean writing a stand alone here and there with completely different characters each time.

The stand alones would teach me to introduce new characters in the proper way, I could learn details, I can work on my introductions of character and settings. I would even be able to work on varying dialogues. Right now, the dialogues I have are the same for the characters since I have been working on the stories from June.

There are many pros to this, but there are also cons. Stand alones don’t familiarize me as a new author. But am I doing this to become a famous writer? This process will improve my writing. Working on my writing will help me become a better writer. Maybe this con eventually turns into a pro. Readers that are unfamiliar with my work will see my name on my series, want the bundle, purchase after reading one of my improved works, and it can help with sales. Or, after the bundle purchase, the back catalog of stand alones can be a trickle of sales that comes in as my bundles are selling well. Either way, it can work.

The editor made many great points and I need to find ways to create clear sub-plots. The twists and turns might be too much for my readers. The ending is too major to screw up. I’m really happy with the work my DE has done so far. I highly recommend a DE for newbie writers, along with other professional help (proofreading) if you can afford it. Here is an article on the three priority editors for an indie author: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/editing-priority/

In case you’re really new to the writing world and aren’t familiar with the varying editors and their roles, here is an article that clears up the confusion: http://greatstorybook.com/the-9-types-of-editors/

This professional writing is tougher than it looks. One day I’m on top of the world, the next I am feeling like I just learned to read yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the comments and critique from the DE. My MS needed an overhaul, obviously. All writers go through the OMG moment after the edit. DE is a detailed, invasive edit and for a newbie it is invaluable (in my opinion). I didn’t realize this until this MS, I am grateful I found this out now and not years from now.

I hope next MS I send out to an editor has less comments. Improvement doesn’t happen unless we learn. I can’t learn unless I listen to experts and editors. I can’t learn unless I work harder on my craft. I need to get to work, I have a lot of it.

My ending is in dire need of work. I found an article that explains a bit of endings and last lines, if you’re interested here it is:

Anyways, good luck with your MS newbies, revise, self-edit, professional edit, stay fabulous!

Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. - Colin Powell

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

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