My Editor Makin’ My Book Better

You’ll want to sing that title to the tune of, um, something that fits. I don’t know what. I just know it’s better if you sing it.

polish-it-upMy editor, Tom Bentley, doesn’t just nudge my words into place. Line editing is important. His polishes my words from workmanlike to well done.

He also asks me hard questions.

Even knowing his strategic use of silence, wouldn’t he ask anything about who Heather is?

Seems like he’d at least mention Heather’s absence to himself

Weren’t they already in trouble? How would them getting in the house with him and Rosie gone be more trouble?

Would you view it that way when you were that age, as this implies?

I like that you put this in, obvious as it may be, because his complete abandonment of his protective senses seems too strong to me here.

I enjoy this level of disclosure because it’s character layering for me that gives me a richer sense of our boy; not sure every reader would (though that might not matter)

The revelation that the “chorus” is about a secondary character is a bit of a risk

This is quite a sharp turn in the narrative. It immediately makes me wonder how Rosie is in the middle of this as well—I wonder if the information/perspective shift happens just a touch too fast.

Somewhat surprised that Edie hadn’t been forthcoming fully to Jesse

Again, seems like he’d at least think of Rosie’s plight or her place in all this

We do have to suspend disbelief a bit to absorb that they are entwined so tightly but Barry’s sinister lurking is still a little murky to me.

Okay, they’re not always questions. You know what I mean.

And he’s right. Each question makes me think about how the story reads to those outside my head. (They’re the only ones who’ll pay to read it; none of the folks inside my head have ever given me a nickel.)

If it’s not clear to Tom, who knows me, knows my writing, or if it feels like a stretch to someone who wants to love my work, what about total strangers?

Tom’s stamp of approval, on top of Best Beloved’s appreciation and my own confidence, tells me we have a winner.

But Wait; There’s More!

There are two bits in the newest book That She is Made of Truth which, to me, were drive-bys. A bit of info to make the moment work.

Tom, not being in my brain, saw connections I’d never intended. Not consciously, anyway.

Once he mentioned them, they became obvious. I won’t tell you what they are because one is a spoiler and one is meaningless out of context. I’ll just say that where the buttons on my favorite shirt were loose, now they’re stitched up tight with upholstery thread.

My Best. Book. Ever.

When I started what was then called anodyne 3 1/2 years ago, I knew nothing formal about story structure. I could tell a good story; I had, in fact. Through the Fog, as poorly structured and unedited as it is, still gets great reviews. It’s a good book, or I wouldn’t give it away free as an example of my work to everyone who signs up for my newsletter.

It’s a good book.

That She is Made of Truth, the new version of anodyne, is a great book.

That happens when a writer like me and an editor like Tom cross paths.


That She is Made of TruthYou can preorder the digital version of That She is Made of Truth at Amazon or Smashwords (preordering saves $1.)

Those on my newsletter have already seen the best price I’ll ever offer for this book. Soon, you’ll be able to preorder a signed copy here at the website (though not at the newsletter price.) It’ll be the only way to get a signed copy at the same price as getting it from Amazon.

Oh, One Last Thing…

See those sharing buttons below? Would you share this with whatever social networks you like most?

2 thoughts on “My Editor Makin’ My Book Better

  1. Of course, since I’m completely unbiased in this account, I will share its thrills with my Twitter audience as an instance of collaborative congruity. (And I will start teaching classes in such, become famous, and probably run for the Republican presidential nomination, because they need another new face.)

    Anyway, Joel, though some of those questions/statements to me sound like I might need to deflate my editorial tires a little, I’m glad they were helpful, and I am confident that you’ll make the most of whatever writerly entanglements they might untangle, because you’re a most-maker. (Which, if it isn’t clear, is a compliment.)

  2. Deflate? Not at all. You got the snow studs that keep this vehicle on the road.

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