Monday, July 31, 2017

Fear of Opening that Edited File by Annette M. Irby

laptop and notebook on a table^

By this time tomorrow, it will be here. I’m nervous! I’m excited! I’m worried.

You see, I sent my manuscript out to have it fully critiqued/edited by a trusted fellow author. And this week, that file will return to me. So, I’m full of doubts and second-guessing myself.

I haven’t always lived in fear of the returned edited file. For the book I mention below (Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington), I had plenty of time to rework, rewrite, analyze it before it was handed over to an editor. My critique buddies and I dragged a fine-toothed comb through that story for years. So, when I handed that manuscript over, I was rather confident.

But the one I’m waiting for this week, I had only several months to write. Not years. So, what will my editor think? Did she find plot holes the size of Alaska? Did she find layered characters and believable story lines? Did my spiritual threads hold up? How “red” will the file be? See that? I’m hyperventilating again. 😉

I work on the other side of the desk as well. I edit freelance and am familiar with Tracked Changes. Really familiar. If I edit for you, I’ll mark obvious typos, but I’ll also comment on story elements that perhaps come across as unbelievable. Maybe the author jars readers out of the story by sharing his or her opinion (author intrusion). I’ll highlight that and give a suggestion for a change. Or perhaps the conflict feels contrived. I’ll probably flag that. I try to encourage my clients by sharing positive feedback, but sometimes (and this is true for me as a writer as well), there is no substitute for the tough rewrite. Once you’re through that process, though, the book will shine! Or at least, we all hope so. (Readers, writers, editors, agents, publishers, sellers.)  

So, I’m nervous. But I also trust this fellow writer. I trust her opinion. I’m willing to put in the work. Perhaps those are the keys to coping with this waiting. Because as soon as that file comes in, and I have the courage to open it, then the work begins. The deadline is approaching.

How about you? Are you ever afraid to open the edited file? Or pleasantly surprised to find very few edits? Do pages covered in comments and suggested changes scare you? Or do you dive in, eager to work through the story and polish it up?

Happy re-writing friends!

Releasing 9/1/17 from Mountain Brook Ink. The e-book pre-order link is now live. 

FLI Friday Harbor, WA
Will keeping his promise lead to another broken heart—or help them find love again? 

Professor Mikaela Rhoades has a plan: she’ll encourage her students’ marine biology research through an exclusive program while helping an old family friend’s whale touring business stay afloat. The challenge is the tour captain is her first love and ex-fiancĂ©. Mikaela longs to help his family in the wake of his father’s death, but she’s keeping secrets. She’ll have to face her past and overcome her concerns about the future to make it through the summer. 

Captain Hunter Cahill has taken over the family touring business after his father’s death. Unfortunately, he’s drowning in grief and accumulated debt. He’s hoping the incoming stodgy professor will help resurrect the failing business, but he’s not prepared when that professor turns out to be Mikaela, his former fiancĂ©e. To make matters more difficult, he’d promised his father to pursue her if she ever returned to the island single. The more time they spend together, the easier it is to keep that promise, though she still plans to leave at the end of the season. How much will it cost him to spend the summer romancing Mikaela?


Annette M. Irby *
Annette M. Irby has been writing since her teen years when she sat pounding out stories on a vintage typewriter just for fun. Since then, she’s joined Christian writing groups and launched blogs so she could share the joy of writing. She likes to say she’s addicted to color as flowers and seascapes inspire her. In her off hours, she enjoys gardening, photography, and music. She lives with her husband and family in the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more here on her Seriously Write Page.

Links to connect with Annette:
Twitter: @AnnetteMIrby
Facebook Reader Friends Group:

*author photo credit: Sarah Irby of Irby Photography 
^laptop photo credit: Pixabay