A week ago, I received the revision notes from my editor for my second book. I’m one of those people who really like constructive criticism, but I have a weird process for fully being open to criticism. In this instance, I scanned the notes, not fully reading them, just wanting to make sure they didn’t say “Your book sucks. Give us back our money.” The next read-through, I read them more closely. The third read-through, I read them thoroughly and created bulleted points as my checklist as I revise.
So, as I revise, this is what my book is telling me:
1) Did you really think you could get away with those lukewarm scenes between my hero and heroine? Beef ’em up, lady!! I want to feel like these two are one of the great couples of all time. Or at least a couple that could rival the one-week hook-up between the head cheerleader and that basketball dude you knew from high school.
2) I could be Anywhere, USA. Okay, I’ll give you credit: I could be Anywhere Desert, USA. But really. You haven’t given me as much setting as you could’ve. Sure, you’ve given me tumbleweeds and egg-heating pavement, but make me shine with those details you have deep inside of you, lady. After all, you lived for 30 years in the desert. Right now, it just looks like you’ve read a book on the topic.
3) Really? You want to set up your characters like that? You got too many, lady. Consolidate!
4) Um, pick a tense, any tense. And a person, by the way. You’ve got present tense, past tense, third person, first person. I know you were experimenting, but seriously. You sent me like this to your editor?
5) Okay, I’ll give you credit. Your premise is fun. But make the most of it! Go nuts. I feel like you’re holding back on me, honey.