The Joy of a Good Edit

Yesterday, I received my edits of “The Man in the Mirror” from QueeredFiction. I was a bit nervous to open the document. Although I’ve been heavily edited when I’ve written something “on-the-job,” this is the first time my fiction has been edited for publication.

But as someone who spends a lot of time in the editors’ seat, I should have reminded myself that, “The editor is your friend.” I was pleased with the edit of “The Man in the Mirror.” It definitely made the story stronger and tighter. It was edited enough that I knew the editor took his job seriously, but not so much that I felt like what I’d produced originally was just a stinking pile of you-know-what. Interestingly, his main edit was to drastically cut down a section I had already drastically cut down from earlier drafts. It just goes to show how valuable a fresh set of eyes is, and also reassured me that I was on the right track with my revisions, even if I didn’t take them as far as I should have.

Along with implementing the edits, I was charged with writing a 30-word blurb for the piece. I’m pretty sure writing the blurb is harder than writing the story itself. After about seven attempts, here’s what I finally came up with:

In a world of declining male birthrates, Gina moves to a polygamy-practicing Ranch searching for love. When Gina’s marriage fails, her best friend Andi takes drastic steps to make sure Gina’s dreams of love still come true.

Also, my newest post on Young Adult Catholics went up yesterday.

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7 Responses to The Joy of a Good Edit

  1. Jenny says:

    Very cool! You know, I’ve taken to writing blurbs or fake query letters before I start the first draft of my stories–it clarifies the story and ensures that I don’t spend months working on something with a yawner of a plot. I’ve done this with my last two manuscripts, and it really helps!

    • You know, I feel like I’ve heard that advice of writing blurbs or “jacketbacks” before starting the story before–maybe from you? I’ve never tried it, though. It is a really good idea.

  2. Jenny says:

    Could be–I heard it somewhere else too, though. I wanna say Miss Snark, when she was in full-swing, but I’m really not sure.

  3. Keir says:

    Your blurb almost sounds like one from the back of an early 70’s scifi hippie novel with very scantily clad people on the cover. The interesting thing is it keeps flip-flopping in my mind from serious to silly and back again. I guess it is just how I read it. If I give it imaginary book covers, each cover influences me differently in how I read it. Pretend it has a serious post-apocalyptic cover and read it, then pretend it has a trashy romance cover and read it again. I get a totally different feel for it each time. Maybe I just have too much imagination and too much time on my hands, but it amuses the hell out of me. It’s like one of those pictures that some people see one thing in and other people see something else in, but once you are pointed out both pictures, you can no longer see just one.

    • Yeah, everything I came up with bordered on sounding silly. It’s hard not to be silly in just 30 words, and sci-fi is kind of a silly genre; I feel like you have to read within it to take it seriously.

      • Keir says:

        If nothing else, it catches the interest. How can you not be intrigued by a search for love at a polygamy-practicing ranch? I just noticed that you capitalized “ranch”. Should I not be thinking of space-age cowboy Mormons? When do I get to read it?

      • Ranch is capitalized in the story like a proper-noun, which is why it’s capitalized here, although that’s probably a little more confusing without the context of the story. I’d actually forgotten you hadn’t read it; but now that the galleys are only a few weeks away, I’m tempted to say you can read it when it’s good and published. 😉 I wasn’t thinking space-age cowboy Mormons when I wrote it, but it’s a short story, and as such, details about the Ranch are vague enough that you can certainly imagine it that way if you’d like.

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