Working with an Editor

For the last month I’ve been busy. Busy writing. Busy reading. Busy pulling dead polecats from the garbage disposal (aka getting my stories rejected).

And busy working with an editor for Accursed Son. I wasn’t sold on hiring editors, until I hired one. It’s well worth the expense, especially if your plot is complicated and needs untangling. For several weeks we met on Zoom and discussed the book. We sorted out the plot, structure, character motivations, and overall goals.

Accursed Son is unlike anything I’ve written. It’s a personal, bittersweet family saga with sarcasm and urban fantasy. Before the editor came onboard, the novel served as my Master’s project. Originally 107,000 words before I edited it down to 97,000 and then 93,000 on subsequent passes, the book explored pre-Christian Armenian mythology with gallows humor. The editor cut the word count even further to 83,000 and my proofreading pass whittled it down further to 82,600 words. We shuffled some chapters around, pursed one character, rewrote key plot points, and included sharper dialogue. The story is leaner, the action meaner, and the protagonist cleaner.

Revisions are complete and querying has begun. This latest round of slushpile madness except with a brand new query letter and synopsis. With the submission process, it’s all a crapshoot. You’re at the mercy of editors and agents looking for an engaging, interesting, and salable story. Accursed Son fits the bill: a heady brew of fantasy, family saga, and ethnic strife served with monsters and creatures from ancient myth and a little motorcycle gang badassery. Rev up your Harley and take down a few hellspawn before the Blood Moon, because you don’t want to stick around when the moon turns crimson.

The bulky manuscript took me years to write and several angst-ridden months to self-edit. Bringing on an editor changed the book’s quality and made me fall in love with the story all over again.

Isn’t that why we write? Our love affair with the written word and with compelling and relatable characters? I enjoyed hanging out with these characters, watching them struggle, learn about themselves, and bounce back from danger. Here’s hoping an agent feels the same way.

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