|I almost missed tulip season!
Well, on Monday, I got an email from her with the manuscript attached, saying there were a few "suggested edits."
At first, I did what any grown up, adult writer would do. I had a small tantrum. Even though I was expecting to hear from her (she's an editorial agent, and why not accept her help to tighten the book before it reaches an editor?), I wasn't ready to hear "suggested edits."
Wasn't it perfect?
Apparently not. But after my 15 minutes of stomping around the living room, complaining to the cats, I opened the Word document and actually looked at her highlights and read her comments. She seems to specialize in what I call "tactful bluntness," something I've gotten fairly good at myself and respect in others.
Every one of her comments was spot on. There were very few bits she thought worth deleting, and when she did, she clearly explained why. There were highlighted sections with notes about what needed tightening up there, and again, why. The whys all made sense.
So after a few deep breaths, I realized that the book wasn't "perfect" -- and probably never will be, but with her help, it just got a whole lot better.
I emailed this "final final" version to my friend Dianne, who had read the book chapter by chapter, and she already got back to me, four chapters in, and said she can't tell what was removed, but that it feels like a tighter, smoother read.
Also, best part: the changes were only to the first section of the book. Sections 2 and 3 were left as written. I'm not assuming they are "perfect" either, just that I wielded my own scalpel a little more effectively later on.
Pitching began yesterday. It takes 2-3 months to hear back from an editor, so right now I'm sewing and selling and thinking about the next project (which is already in progress, but now I can think about it as the current project, not the next one).