I sent the manuscript to my editor with a plea for help:
“I can’t see the story for the words!”
She sent her notes last night and I lost thirty pounds of literary baggage in the time it took me to read them.
First, I can lose one third of the text without killing the story. Those pages were something that would have bogged readers down, front-loading information that gave even me – the author – a pulsing headache trying to retain throughout the read. I’m glad I wrote those pages because the information is important to the series overall but they belong in the world’s bible – not the script – and need to be trickled in, like tempering an egg into hot batter.
Fewer words do not mean less story.
Second, the editor said the sex scenes were HOT. That made me happy because I thought they were hot as well. I’m glad my housemates aren’t home when I write those scenes because I squirm in my seat and sometimes have to close the door to my room. She said the copy-edit she is sending will help trim up the LOL moments so readers won’t be thrown out of the sex scenes by purple prose.
Third, I use semi-colons improperly; I love semi-colons. I also confused passed with past several times even though I know the difference. I was being sloppy.
She properly praised me so the major editing suggestions wouldn’t sting as much but she didn’t hold any punches. She used the phrase “suck it up” and that made me laugh.
And, since I am publishing this through my own DBA, I can make her suggested changes or not. It’s all up to me.
That said, I will make all of her suggested changes.
My editor is brilliant and my readers deserve the best of both worlds: Sex and Story.