I got my first ever-in-my-life editorial letter.
What that is: when a book is put under contract, it is assigned an editor. The first thing that editor does (when finally given the go-ahead to begin work) is to read the thing, making comments in the manuscript as they go. Then they write a letter summarizing the changes they want, and send it back to the author. It’s been nearly two years since my book was accepted. It’s finally my turn.
I’ve heard a lot about these letters. Sometimes they can be heartbreaking. Often the editors ask for painful changes and cuts. So I was pretty nervous/excited to read what someone would have to say about my writing–someone who is not a friend or relative, but would be looking at it with a cold eye.
I was happy that there were not any huge changes requested. I can live with them all. Besides a boatload of comma errors (!!! Me?? !!!) there were some logic things, stuff I’d accidentally repeated, stuff that wasn’t clear enough. Junk like that. She changed a few lines that I thought were indicative of Amelie’s unique voice but I can bear to let them go if I have to.
She’s asked me to add some additional struggles for these folks. Can do. I’m experienced at making my characters hurt.
Overall, I’m very relieved.
She did change the very last line. I loved it the way it was. It was so Amelie. Out of all the changes she’s asked for, that’s the one I feel the saddest about…and it’s one little line. Maybe I can think of a better one we both like…