Recently I received edits for a manuscript I wrote about two years ago, Bound. It was the first novel I ever wrote, and I was so proud of my achievement. After being the queen of first chapters, I had finally managed to go beyond and complete a full manuscript. I was convinced, as every author is, that it was my best work and guaranteed to find a home with a publisher.
Well, a lot of rejections later I pushed it aside and started writing something else. After a couple of months, I pulled it out again, thinking to myself I spent one year of my life writing this manuscript, so I’m not letting it collect cobwebs.
I re-read from start to finish then understood why publishers had rejected it. The first two chapters were nothing but an information dump. I was so convinced no one would understand my world unless I off loaded the information as quick as possible. So, that went. Next I added his POV. It now follows a hers/his chapter sequence.
Off it went again to another publisher, and yippee, they offered me a contract. Great, until it sat somewhere in the bowels of their backlog for the last fourteen months.
Fast forward to now, and my edits for the first manuscript I ever wrote have arrived. An exciting moment until I opened the attachment and read my editors dictionary of notes about problems within the story. She loved it, or so she said, explaining how she got caught up in the two main characters and forgot to do the edits half the time. BUT, and the list began.
I’m now editing a story I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s like a time capsule of my progress as an author. I have changed my style since then—thank god. When looking at the way I constructed my sentences to relay my point, sometimes I stumbled on my meaning—so did my editor. It’s not good if even the author is getting confused.
To be fair on me, I knew little about writing when I started the novel, yet still managed to create a 110,000 word manuscript, and the rhythm, pacing, consistency, character development and plot are all good according to my editor.
There is always room for improvement.
Every time I finish writing something I always feel I can do better next time.
Perhaps I will never reach the point where I am totally happy with the way I write. That’s okay, because it means I will never stop trying to get better.