First: the MS. Did I mention editors are awesome? You missed that post, you say? Well, I'll say it again--sadly, not as well as Chuck Wendig--editors ROCK. And as a result of such rocking, my MS is undergoing some sorely needed reality checks.
REALITY CHECK ONE: the original manuscript took place 90% in 1995, only 10% in 2003. That wasn't working. The 1995 story is lovely and very cute, but it only acquires relevance in retrospect.
But the novel already was above 100K. In order to add even the word "retrospect", I had to cut. Yeah. Bitter moments.
REALITY CHECK TWO: Not only was the novel already long, but my editor also happened to drop the hint that there might be some "verbiage" that perhaps didn't add quite as much as I thought it did.
Yeah--she's too tactful for her own good. But I'm good at reading between the lines, and I started noticing longish sentences, explanatory dialogue, scenes that didn't go anywhere...
My editor, with a Mona Lisa smile, said, "be ruthless".
Best advice ever.
REALITY CHECK THREE: Another gem of a morsel from my editor: you're in love with your MCs. You solve problems for them. You don't let problems happen to them. In other words, m'dear (aka amateur), tension is lacking all over the place. It's not there.
Yep, I looked, and--lo and behold. Zilch.
So now, woven into both the 2003 and 1995 timelines, a steel thread of razor-sharp tension has been added. Ok, is being added.
~ * ~
That's my first excuse for dropping the ball on Quiet Laughter here. I have another two for later, funny in a Fawlty Towers way, that I hope will soften your heart and earn me your forgiveness. Even a single iota of--
Yes, that's the prose that got me into trouble in the first place. Let me just say then that I love you, Quiet Laughter readers. I do.