A short time ago, I discovered that I could look up the stats for this blog. Among the information listed, I discovered that someone found my site by asking, "Is Pill Hill Press a vanity press?" I can attest that, having recently received their edits for my novel, that they are nothing of the sort. What little vanity I have took a serious blow.
Comments in red, blue, and purple ink fill the margins throughout the book. I overuse certain words, and they're longer than four letters. Entire paragraphs have been flagged as 'wordy' or 'unclear', so it's probably time to STFU about James Joyce. I've also been asked to delete a few blocks of writing as unnecessary to the story. Ouch!
These are common errors, though. Em dashes and new word choices just need to be 'fixed'. It gets worse. My editor found contradictions of logic and inconsistencies in my vampire physics. I've had a couple of real "Oh, s--t!" moments. This stuff will require serious thought and rewriting.
I feel like an utter idiot. How could I have managed to leave so much stuff screwed up after four drafts? I have to remind myself that my editor, who is also my publisher, saw these same pages, errors included, when she decided to offer me a contract. Despite the amount of ink decorating the margins, she must have thought that these problems were surmountable.
I must also remind myself that I can get my characters and plot to do the things needed because, in the words of Donald Maass, they are "a work of fiction". This is made up stuff, and I am a writer. I can do this.
So, I picked up my yelping, whimpering manuscript, and began revisions. I'm proceeding one step at a time, untangling its words, making it stand up straight, and putting its shoes on the correct feet. Solutions have already begun coming to me. I will get this done... and the book will be better for it.