I had to chuckle at Marie Harte's post. I've been in sort of a 'revision hell' myself as of late. When I first sold to TEB, I brought along several titles that had been previously published at the now defunct LoveStruck Books. TEB's lovely publisher agreed to accept these titles if I'd be willing to spice them up a bit--it seems TEB likes sex, and lots of it, in their books. "No problem!" I enthused, then buckled down for intense rewrites of five titles.
I did it, but it's not something I ever wanted to do again. Writing is hard enough, rewriting is just plain hell. I was assigned an editor with an eye for detail, and a whip that could be felt halfway across the country. I'll always be glad that I was--I trust her implicitly and think I've learned a lot from her. I know every torturous edit makes my stories stronger. This does not, however, make them any easier.
I survived writing, rewriting and editing those first five books. Somehow, I assumed I had everything figured out by the time my next few submissions were evaluated. Wrong! Just when I thought I had one thing figured out, another thing popped up.
Each time, I tried to learn from my mistakes. I stopped putting 'and' and 'then' in the same sentence. I stopped starting sentences with 'ing' phrases. I shot most of the adverbs that came into my sight. I stopped the traveling eyes and allowed the gazes to travel instead.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself, right about the time I submitted a new novel to my faithful editor. A few days later, I received a page long email of things I'd need to change before a contract could be issued. *sigh*
I sat on that email for three weeks. (It was pretty flat by then.) When I finally felt up to the task, it took a little over a week to make the necessary changes. I was rewarded with the email I do so love to see: While there are still some things to be worked out in editing, we'd like to offer you a contract.
Contract signed, edits in process. It all worked out in the end, the process sometimes just takes a little longer than I expected. If I hadn't trusted my editor so much, and know that her suggestions were for the best, I might not have stuck it out. There were a few times on the road out of revision hell I'd have liked to hop off the trolley car. But when it's over, and I look back and smile, I'm glad I was along for the ride.