Sunday, March 18, 2018

Losing an Editor

     Recently, I lost my editor of seven years, not to death but retirement. She has a new man in her life and wants to enjoy time traveling with him. I can't blame her and wish her well. We'd built up a friendship, too. I will miss that.
      Now seemed the time to experiment a little, and I submitted a Regency novel to my publisher. I was assigned a new editor in the history division, and a contract was awarded but came with red flags I should have heeded i.e. the manuscript needed a lot of work, would require three edits, and I wouldn't like some of the required changes. Well, I have twenty-three novels in print with the last one Putty in her Hands, the final book done with my old editor, getting very good reviews. I've done tough edits before on a couple of books. One sells regularly, and the other tanked. I've worked with other editors on my single titles and believe I am easy going. How bad can it be?
      Very, very bad--starting with receiving pages of information how to write and links to the publisher's manual. There were hints my old editor had been too easy on me. Nearly every page had comments that I was ambiguous or omniscient (that was actually intentional to give it Regency flavor-but had to go) and most scenes were required to be rewritten in the heroine's viewpoint. In my experience, nineteen-year-old debs aren't that deep even if wildly in love. I began to find her view tedious. Burdening the story with her emotions added one-thousand words before the halfway point. Where had my funny, fast, breezy story gone?
       Each day, I opened the file with apprehension and closed it with a stomach ache. When I reached a cherished scene that needed to be cut because it wasn't in her viewpoint, I finally could do it no more and asked to be released from the contract, something I have never done, being a person who prides herself on finishing what she starts and meeting all deadlines. I'm not faulting the new editor. She did the job as she saw fit while I could not comply with her directions. Despite her warnings, I signed on for a job I was unable do.
      My confidence shredded, I will return to writing contemporaries, but must face another new editor. I'd put aside the next Sinners book half-written to work on the Regency. Now, I am fearful that it, too, will be considered sub-par, and the new editor will not work out either.
     In publishing, I've been orphaned, trolled, had a book come out with only one-third of its pages, and gotten poor reviews on my first audio book. I don't make much money for all the hours involved in writing and editing. Still, I've managed to survive these crises. Last year was super-productive with Sister of a Sinner, Never a Sinner, A Place Apart, and Putty in her Hands being published. After this re-do,I'll be lucky to get one book out before the end of the year.
      Perhaps, I need a break. Often, I've said I'd quit writing when it wasn't fun anymore. Not having fun now. One more try, and we'll see how it goes.