Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Countdown 5: Revisions and a Second Editor
Sometime in the summer of 2009
My editor, Allie, and I had a lot of fun going through my novel Perilous. She was very upbeat, always telling me how great I was and how quickly things were coming along. That doesn't mean she didn't request changes, though.
Revision 1 The first change Allie wanted to see was the addition of my detective's POV. I put the detective in the opening scene, as a kind of pseudo-prologue. It was his only appearance in the entire novel. Allie saw him as a great way to bridge the demographic, crossing the book over from YA to adult. So we added him, and I love him. He owes his existence to Allie.
Revision 2 Once we had the detective in, Allie thought it would be fun to see the opposite POV: that of the villain. So we added him in, as well.
Revision 3 Next Allie had me change the introduction to the characters. All four girls were introduced at once. I had had several beta readers tell me that initially, the girls were a bit difficult to keep track of, but I didn't really know how to fix it. Until Allie told me, of course. She had me just introduce two of them! Duh. Then we added the next two in in the subsequent chapter. She also had me add character tags to the dialogue so we could easily identify the speakers.
Revision 4 This was the point where I had to do some cutting. The middle of the book had a ton of romance--like five chapters of it! It was with much remorse that I had to cut it down. But I understood why. A little romance in a thriller goes a long ways. Everyone loves romance, but it can't stop the story! I knew that already...but I was so pleased with the dialogue, the jealousies, the emotions! That was a hard cut for me. But Allie was great, helping me to see what I could cut and still keep the tension and hormones that I wanted! This was also the point that we decided it needed a new title.
Graduation Once we finished revision 4, Allie felt that I was ready to move on to the next editor: the one that would fine-tune my book. Allie was the big picture editor. I was very sad to part ways with her, but very excited that we were moving closer to publication!