Selective Vision

I sent my latest manuscript off for editing a couple of weeks ago. I know it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, and I was fairly confident of getting a glowing appraisal from the dear old editor.

When her email arrived I opened it with alacrity and was devastated to read that she didn’t like the resolution nor one of the major characters.

All my plans went out the window. Based on a screenplay written years ago, this little piece was meant to be a quick filler while I researched my new series. It turned out to be unexpectedly difficult to convert to a novel, but I was pleased with the result, tickled at having learned some more about advancing plot and character, and ready to publish it and move on. Getting a thumbs down at the editorial stage was no part of the plan.

I’ve put in my time on rejection, so I know how unproductive it is. I got out of the house for a few days, played some golf, became reacquainted with the rest of the race, then came back and read the email again.

It’s amazing how the eye skips over praise and attaches itself to the bad stuff. On re-reading, I discovered the editor loved the story. She was with me on the family, the island, their activities, their personalities. In the context of these comments, I realized I had subconsciously shared her reservations about certain elements; I just hadn’t know what they were or what to do about them.

That’s the brightest construction I can put on the situation, because the bald fact is, despite all the good stuff, it’ll need a rewrite. So the series will have to wait, or this will have to go on the back burner, probably the best plan but now it’s like a sore tooth: I want it fixed.

I used to be an editor myself, of nonfiction. When I appraised a manuscript, I was generally hired to implement the suggested revisions. Wish I had someone to do that for me the writer!