For the Love of… Editing?

Snapple Real Fact #832: Brain waves can power an electric train.
(How cool is that? I have no idea how it works, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome!)
So, earlier this week I mentioned that I’m passionate about good editing. It wasn’t a dig at the book I was reviewing. It was just me jumping up and down on my soapbox. I mean, if you don’t get to spout off every now and then, what’s the point of having a blog?
Okay, so what you really want to know is why I am so passionate about good editing? (To be fair, if you’re asking I have to assume you either don’t read that much or you’ve never read a terribly edited book!) So, why good editing?
1. Readers deserve it. They’re paying for the book after all. Typos and incorrect word use are a distraction and detract from the story.
2. In the face of an ongoing quest to legitimize indie books and their authors, examples of typos, spelling errors, and poor formatting are fodder for traditional publishing houses. Yes, the very same publishing houses who would tell you the only good books are the ones that make the shelves of big box retailers.
3. There are a lot of great writers out there working to provide us (the readers) with books that may never make it in the mainstream market, but which are wonderful in their own right. I’d hate for their hard work to be diminished by blanket stereotypes regarding the quality of indie books.
Believe me, I get it. Indie authors operate on a shoestring budget. It can’t be easy to be your own publisher, publicist, marketer, and all around guru of all things publishing related. It’s undoubtedly overwhelming. (See? I’m tired just writing about it!) But with an infinite number of freelance editors just a mouse click away, it’s one task I’d be more than happy to farm out!
I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always love to write. But that doesn’t mean grammar is my thing. Just ask my 10th grade English teacher, who btw, you’ll find moonlighting at FYE in the mall.

Weekend Love

Snapple Real Fact #687: The average cat can jump five times as high as its tail is long.

(Big deal. I have a dog that can run backwards and one that can catch a treat off of her nose! Sorry, cat lovers. Ours will always be a dog house!)

Everyone loves the weekend, right? Probably you don’t care why I love it so much, but here goes anway!

1. Freedom: No day-job work (usually).
2. Friday Night Ritual: Me, my husband, pizza and Netflix. (I know. Pretty sexy. Don’t hate.)
3. Blogging: Finding the time to post on my site and catching up on my favs!
4. Reading: This weekend I read Kiersten White’s debut novel Paranormalcy. L-O-V-E-D it!
5. Writing: Unlimited time to work on my manuscript and rework potential problem areas.

So last week I did a little whining about my rejection letters. In my ongoing quest for full disclosure, I have to admit that I did have one agent take a hard look at my manuscript. Talk about highs and lows! Anyway, said agent elected to pass based on the first 3 chapters. I was beyond disappointed. I almost cried. But I put on my big girl pants and reminded myself that it’s the name of the game. There’s no crying in baseball and there sure as hell isn’t room for tears in the publishing industry. I’ve been told over and over that it’s a cutthroat business.

And I thought I was ready. I work in a pretty tough business today. I’ve had my ideas stolen, been lied to, stepped on, and stabbed in the back. Trust me. Skin gets thicker. But this feels more personal somehow. I guess because they’re my own words and no matter how dedicated I’ve been to my day job and no matter how much pride I take in my work, it’s just not as near and dear to my heart as this manuscript. For me it symbolizes the fruition of a lifelong dream and the opportunity to do something I really love.

Here’s the upshot of last weeks rejection: I got the message loud and clear. The opening of my MS needed more punch. I certainly don’t want to land in the ‘did not finish’ pile and I want the reader to want more. So I spent the weekend reworking the intro and I feel good about it. Yeah, I wish I’d figured it out sooner, but there’s no value in second guessing the past. What’s done is done. Time to learn a little something and move on.

J.J. Bonds