The feedback’s back

As it stands, my book’s a “solid, entertaining read.” So says my editor. Great. Excellent, even. But, it can be better. So, it’s time to give a hearty /golfclap and refocus my efforts. I’m looking directly at you, WoW: Legion.

In addition to a host of general comments, my editor’s specific suggestions on how to improve the book can (in part) be summed up thusly:

  • Heighten the dramatic irony: Rather than try to obscure the book’s climactic event, I should twist the screws on the tension created by the readers knowing more about what’s happening than the characters do.
  • Work on pacing: Some parts are still sluggish. Other parts are too quick. I was going for a faster-pace than the typical epic fantasy, but it seems that I instead delivered “choppy and fragmentary.” Oops.
  • Narrative arc: Overall, she said, “I’ve done a fantastic job of injecting a central narrative into this mythology. The writing and storyline are strong enough to keep readers moving along.”
    • Sounds great, right? Here’s the but…
    • I really only nailed the inciting incident. All of the rest — main conflict, raised stakes, turning points, blackest moments, climax, — were there but muddled. They need clarity to give them more oomph. She recommended moving scenes around, removing some and combining others.
  • Characters: Overall, I did a “wonderful job of bringing the characters to life.” Awesome. Except…
    • Frigg: She said that Frigg was the central character — the pivot point b/c her “concerns and reach span the entire story and touch all the other major players.”
      • Wait, what? I thought I’d done that with Odin.
      • Not that I’m upset — Frigg’s awesome — I’m just baffled as to how I did it — even after my editor explained what I did to make Frigg that way.
    • Vidar is the “runner-up” for main character. Which is great since that’s what I’d intended. Still, I need to streamline and clarify his internal arc.
    • Odin comes off “at best as a secondary character or at worst as an immature, egotistical, irresponsible man who resents the need to come home and take care of business.”
      • Ouch. Especially b/c I’d absolutely no idea that I’d done that. I thought I’d done the opposite, but…nope!
      • So, Odin needs some improvement.
    • Hyrrokin: “I’m not convinced Hyrrokin plays a part in this book.”
      • Yikes!
      • Honestly, though, I’m not completely surprised. I had a feeling.
      • I did share my rationale for including her in the book. My editor’s response was basically “uh, yeah…no.”
      • However, all’s not lost! Deleted scenes are great fodder for the Web site and/or a short story, novella or even her own  book. And she still has to make an appearance in BK2.
    • Vafthrudnir: The upside to cutting Hyrrokin is that Vaft has to become more active so that I can still show many of the things that Hyrrokin’s POV allowed. The downside is that I have to rewrite a LOT of scenes. But, hey, writing is rewriting.

All of the above is exactly why I hired an editor. Not only has the process given me some confidence that I really was right to think the book was good, but she’s shown me where the flaws were. And I absolutely needed that b/c I couldn’t see ’em.

But now I’ve got a direction — and a deadline: Dec 5. That’s when I submit the rewrite for a line edit. Tick. Tock.

mattbishopwrites

Fantasy author writing a series inspired by Norse myth.

One thought to “The feedback’s back”

  1. Sounds like a lot of work, but I’m sure you already have plans in place how to “fix” what she says is broken. She said it’s good? Now I’m definitely hooked.

Comments are closed.