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.

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