When Revisions Make Me Crazy

Posted On August 2, 2013

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Now that I’m getting my feedback from my editors about SFC, I must share some of my feelings about editing and revisions…and what things I like…and what things are my greatest pet peeves that make me want to throw the computer out the window.

I’m sorry, editors, this must be said.

I enjoy revisions that connect to me: things that I didn’t notice before, dumb mistakes I made that weren’t obvious until now, some things that came across unclearly to readers, and things that would go nicely with the theme or events that makes me rethink the ideas presented, etc.

When I first asked for revisions, the editing helped me to rethink the entire idea of SFC and to establish a theme for the novel–and how to incorporate these ideas in subtle (if you will) hints and description lines. Did I mention I love foreshadow? If not, I should say it more often…I love foreshadow–a lot.

Having others read makes me realize that everything in my head looks different from the same thing in another’s head, so that helps me a lot to explain things better.

 

So, that’s pretty much all I can think of (especially because the rant is coming), so here are the things that bother me to no end:

WHENEVER A CHARACTER IS ALTERED.

 WHENEVER A MAJOR THEME/PLOT/WHATEVER IS ALTERED.

And now, the ranting:

 

I have recieved a few emails in the past month containing chapter revisions for SFC. I admit, I did expect it to be…excruciating, but not as much as it really happened to be. Yes, most suggestions (as I call them) were OK, but most made me want to cry.

I must say something first…my characters are my life. If you hurt them, I suffer great pain from this offense. If you tell them to change, that’s like telling me you want me to be a completely different person (which, in my book, is worse than telling me to jump off a bridge). So, any drastic or even small changes to a character will make me depressed or vehement–rarely both at the same time.

Example: my one editor basically always told me outright that Cera’s character is too hard for people to understand, and her fancy dialog has to go. That made me so angry. Still, no matter how much I try (even in self-publishing), there are many changes of her dialog–and dialog is the most important part of my characters! Would you rather them not talk at all?!

Yes, I’m aware of the word “market,” and it makes my blood boil every time the word is mentioned because I am nothing like the mainstream market; I’m the opposite! But, I realize he’s giving me all these suggestions because he looks at everything from a “marketable” standpoint. Sigh…I say nothing.

Of course, everyone tells me I’m “too wordy” or “none of this makes sense” or [insert horribly-worded complaint here], but I care not. Your telling me to change my characters and dialog is the same as telling me to change myself and to write like “everyone else does,” which, case in point, would be something horrendously worded with trillions of misspellings and errors (no offense, world).

In a word, I shan’t conform. I was never meant to conform. [dramatic pose]

Aren’t “new” things supposed to be popular in art? Or…is that only after I’ve gone? …Hmm

 

Well, plot changes aren’t as serious to me as other changes, so I’ll keep rambling about things I wish to keep in SFC and my prolix reasonings behind them. Yes, “reasonings” is a word, Spellcheck. So is your name, Spellcheck.

I love parallels just as much as I love foreshadow; I love the idea that you can re-read a book and find something new and “brilliant” you didn’t see before. Thus, the library scene in chapter 3 in which Cera stumbles upon the forgotten papers telling the traumatic story of the city. Cera, being completely oblivious to half of the world’s evils, doesn’t care at all about this experience. She doesn’t find it strange, out there, or evenly slightly important. Therefore, she describes this occurrence in a few paragraphs.

Mariah, on the other hand…………….[SPOILERS] found the same exact archives as Cera and found the occurrence extremely important because she could connect with the idea (this will take up a large chunk of the last book of the SFC Trilogy). So, in that sense, it is a kind of “art” concept: the idea that two people can read the same book or look at the same piece of art, and one person will feel nothing while the other will be in tears.

Such is life.

Also, have you ever been a “woe-is-me” teenager? Have you ever been melodramatic? Have you ever extrapolated and exaggerated on your sadness and woe to the point of nausea? (I know I do…I always act melodramatic…) That’s what Cera does all the time! Such is life!

One last rant…

If you take a sentence and change one word, that sentence could be completely altered from the original. Try it sometime.

 

Sigh. I shall recover; worry not about me…

I’ll [cries] I’ll recover soon! I…[bawls and runs out of the room, tripping and dragging lifeless self to the next room] I…Oh, my heart! The pain! I shall never recover!

(I really love being melodramatic)

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