Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Musings: editor's feedback

Those of you who are writers know how scary it can be after you've turned your baby over to your editor and await their feedback. I tried not to think about it until right before I met with him last Thursday. Then I got nervous.  My editor is a master communicator, meaning he gave me the positive feedback before he shared his thoughts and suggestions. This was not a line by line edit - no no no, I'm nowhere near up to that. It was an overall conceptual discussion. The good news - it is a profound and powerful story. The bad news - it's not nearly done. I didn't go deep enough. I don't have fully drawn characters. I haven't done enough description. It needs more scenes; more action.

On some level, I knew this. My beta readers had said they felt unfinished. Now I have very specific suggestions for how to "infuse life, vibrancy, and a sense of place." Say some prayers for this nonfiction writer attempting her first fiction work.

How are you coming along with your projects?


Anonymous said...

Prayers on their way to you Karen. Good luck.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Sounds like great feedback, Karen, along with specific tips for improving the story. It always seems a little overwhelming at this point, but goes so much quicker than we think it will!

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, thank you for that.
Elizabeth, it was great feedback and I am overwhelmed, but I'll get there

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. I agree with Elizabeth .. sounds like you've definitely got a good novel on your hands ... and with such a great empathetic editor .. that must make a difference.

Good luck and enjoy this indepth search and write ... the bones are there and that's the skeleton!

Cheers Hilary

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes! I always get nervous waiting for editor feedback, but as much as I want them to say, "It's perfect!", I know they are making the story so much better. :)

Denise Covey said...

I'm still going deeper. I can see why you liked L Diane's checklist for characterisation. I've never sent anything to an editor yet but will bite the bullet shortly.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry, I don't go deep enough with my first drafts. Now you know to keep adding flesh to the bones.

Karen Walker said...

Hilary, ha, love that image. It's a skeleton
Jennifer, yes, I know, I know.
Denise, it's actually a good bullet to bite!
Alex, okay the skeleton image is working for me - I'll add flesh to the bones.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Keep working on it! I'm excited about your story now.

Jack said...

It is hard allowing someone to pick apart something you've spent a lot of time working on. But it is always nice when that person takes the time to actually help and offer suggestions you can work with. I hope you're able to figure out all the extra that needs to be added to your book. That sometimes can be very hard.

Karen Walker said...

Oh, thank you, Diane. I will, promise.
Jack, yup, you are so right.

L.G. Smith said...

Great feedback. I love it when I get specifics. Go deep, Karen. Put yourself in your character's head and observe all those details only they can see through their eyes.

Sounds like a great tale!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I hope you don't mind my chiming in about a non-writing project. I have been working on a house-rearranging project that's going as slow as molasses lol

Tonja said...

That sounds like honest feedback that will get you to the finish line. I would take the advice and keep working.

Karen Walker said...

Optimistic, of course I don't mind. Hang in there!
Tonja, I intend to - thanks

Suze said...

You're doing what all winners do--and that's bite off as much as you can chew. You've got a solid first draft: profound and powerful! Now, comes the second wave. It's like the difference between a house you moved into six months ago and one you've lived in for years. The later stages of evolution don't come first, but you've got a solid start.

You can totally do this.