Last week, I commissioned a Content Edit of Golden City. This is a review of the story structure and content, not the details of grammar and word echoes etc (which is called a copy edit).
I’ve received a 3-page report, but still waiting for the hard-copy marked-up manuscript. I’m really happy with the suggestions I’ve received, but of course, I will need to go back and re-write chunks of the story. Sigh. But that’s the whole point of getting these professional opinions: to make the story the best it can possibly be.
Overall, he said: Good stuff. It cracks along at a good pace, and your first-draft writing has come a long way — but you know that. I had a wee chuckle at that, because, in my mind, it was the third draft I gave him.
Here’s the key things I need to change:
- Add more danger! Make it harder for Freya. I still have some things that are just too easy for her. I’m rushing the story in places. I did already add in a whole lot of extra difficulties during my previous edit, but it needs to be harder still! My editor says “Generally Freya has to have it really tough throughout. Then we admire her more when she wins.”
- Timing of events. I have a couple of places where the reader gets a bit confused about when something happened – I haven’t made it clear that I’ve jumped around in the timeline of events. In other places I’ve revealed what’s happened too soon, so need to keep that from the reader to raise the stakes. I’ve been given suggestions on how to handle this.
- Tying up loose ends. I thought I’d got everything, but there are a couple that were still floating. One of these is the Cave People: they are in the story, but I don’t really come back to them and explain their ultimate fate. The other is the Master. Again, I’ve been given suggestions as to how these could be tied up.
That’s the main Big Picture stuff. There are a bunch of others, as well as Medium and Small picture stuff, too. So, I reckon I’ll need at least another 4 weeks to work through that stuff (given that I only get about 4-8 hrs a week to devote to it, now that I’m back at work).
If you have any suggestions for me of what you’d like to see happen in this story, now’s your chance!