There it sat in my inbox.
The butterflies descended before I even opened the attachment.
The lovely email from my editor, introducing herself and offering me all the support and encouragement I could have hoped for, put a huge smile on my face, but I don’t mind admitting to you that, upon initially reading the proposed structural revisions for my first novel, the photo below pretty much summed up my mood.
I could hear my fellow Romaniac Vanessa’s voice in my head: “Freeze it for a couple of days, Jan, then have another read and things will look much clearer.”
Mr B, of course, agreed, and being as fantastically calm and reassuring as ever, came in from work the following day, clutching these:
Sure enough, upon reading through the report another two or three times, and accepting my lovely editor’s kind offer to walk me through it page by page, we arranged to meet in London.
I’d been a bit apprehensive on the train beforehand as, having absorbed the suggestions and feeling enthusiastic about ninety per cent of them, (even though I had no clue if I could actually implement them successfully!) I also knew there were one or two points we were likely to disagree on.
I needn’t have worried, because within ten minutes of meeting my editor and seeing her passion for my novel and my characters, and hearing her brilliant explanations of how the edits would help to enrich the overall story, I was eager to get cracking.
I’d wrongly been of the mind-set that we were on opposing teams. Why would I feel like that? Was it preciousness on my part kicking in? Over-sensitivity to criticism (albeit hugely constructive) perhaps? It was very much a two-way discussion, with my thoughts and ideas fully respected. To quote my editor: “It’s your book, Jan.”
And so I set to work. It took me longer than I’d hoped, with a fair few huffs and puffs of frustration at myself along the way (and much cake & choccie scoffing!) but when I read through the revised copy of my manuscript, and could see how my editor’s proposals had strengthened the novel, I felt elated.
I only hope my editor feels the same ;)
To say I’ve learned a lot from the experience would be downplaying it.
It feels great and very exciting to be part of such a fab team.
Next up … Line Edits!
Chocolate Button, anyone?