Swoon Author Cindy Anstey's Editing Update: Oops, I Did It Again
Hello Swoon Readers,
This is the Cindy Anstey edition of "Oops, I did it again."
Suitors and Sabotage is my third Regency mystery-romance and, naturally, the first draft was near perfect.
Every writer has a different process in planning and executing her book. Often the story morphs away from its original concept. Those changes are normal but can leave little threads of the original story floating in the manuscript. It’s hard to find those threads—and delete them—but it is well worth the effort. There is nothing worse than pulling a reader out of your imaginary world with a muddying comment or observation. It can have the reader looking back to verify a detail or putting the book down in frustration. Details do count.
And yet loose threads are not my greatest folly in need of revision. No. I have a tendency to begin with too much backstory—too much description. Fortunately, very fortunately, this habit is immediately, but kindly, brought to my attention.
The original version of S&S began with five pages of description of the locale. It established the atmosphere and the main characters. It was idyllic and calm. By the end of the chapter, the action was in full sail but it took too long to get there. Fortunately, Emily, editor extraordinaire, pointed this out. You would think I would have learned; I had made the same mistake with my first draft of Duels & Deception.
And so, there you have it, my revising formula: take the plot add drama and torment, mix in a little angst—cook until happiness bubbles to the surface. One day it will come naturally.
Until then, I’ll revise.