July 30, 2013

Progress! I've been looking for the "right" person to edit my novel Sleeping Dogs: The Awakening. It's the first book in a trilogy of techno-political thrillers that explore and exploit the deep polarization afflicting the U.S. After considerable research, I've found that person, Caitlin Alexander. Caitlin was an editor with Random House for 11 years. During that time, she acquired and edited a number of best sellers. Her focus is on works of fiction, including thrillers. And an interesting factoid is that she shares the same name as the wife of my chief protagonist. An omen?

Caitlin sent me her letter of agreement yesterday. Now, I'm busy preparing the manuscript in order to send it to her. She's going to do both a developmental edit as well as a line edit. For those who aren't sure, developmental editing is described at bookeditor.tripod.com as: In fiction, characters and plot are the two main areas where developmental editing will have the most impact. With regard to characters, developmental editing looks at their integrity ("would this character do this?"), their dialog (incredibly important!), and their actions and reactions, to name just a few aspects. With regard to plot, developmental editing takes a look at the flow, the essential story (what the plot is really about), plot twists, pace, suspense, and other aspects. Line editing, as described by Michelle Seaton, is challenging every word in every sentence; looking at each sentence as a unit and checking it for logic, clarity and efficiency. This is done to tighten the work and make it more vivid, to wedge more story into fewer words.

Caitlin will be sending me her edits and suggestions sometime during the week of August 26. Then the real work begins - a total rewrite. So, why am I spending money and enduring the inevitable bruising of my literary ego? Because I believe, have always believed, that I am capable of writing fiction successfully. The reviews received to date on Amazon have been great, but, in order to stimulater interest in agents and publishers, almost all writers need the services of a skilled and experienced editor.

Stay tuned.

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