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:~: Friday, March 23, 2007 :~:

Edits and Revisions and Commas, oh, my!

I love my new editor. When I was first reassigned, I was afraid, simply becuase I was afraid she wouldn't "love" my work or that we wouldn't be on the same page or . . . well, let's just say I always have lots of fears.

Anyway, this morning, I received my edits for my June release, Truth and Consequences. I'm thrilled to have them since that means I will be able to work on them over spring break and won't feel rushed to get them finished.

Once my skin finished crawling over having to take out the commas in my compound sentences (hey, I'm an English teacher -- I'm all about the comma rules!), my mind started turning over the main issue my editor wants me to address.

Joan will love this one.

I have to clarify my villain's motivations for killing.

Okay, I'm better now. I actually have ideas for making those motivations clearer. I have to show that he's amoral, cares only for himself, has a thing for power and obedience, etc. So is it cheating if I break out the villain's POV? I have a scene that's been percolating since I originally wrote the book, but I've avoided writing it because, more than removing commas from run-on sentences, it makes my skin creep and crawl. I'm thinking that using his POV and showing his level of evil as well as his thoughts and perceptions of events should give the reader insight into his motivations -- both political and personal. This should work, as he has two types of killings -- murders that serve his political ambitions and loyalties and murders that satisfy his need to control and punish those who defy that control.
Can you tell what I'll spend my spring break doing?



Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Glad you like your new editor, Lin. :)

I love villain POV, and I LOVE TAC, so I can't wait to see what you come up with. And I can't wait to hold that book in my hands. ;)

But you gotta elaborate on the comma thing. She who had the comma rules beat into her head by The Comma Great wants to know what your editor had to say about them and why you're making the changes.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Why do you consider using the villain's POV cheating?

3:23 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

E, basically, I'm dropping them because the editor told me to. Company policy (they call it a "serial" comma, which is news to me . . . but they sign my royalty checks, LOL).

Simply put, all I'm doing is removing the comma before a conjunction in a compound sentence. Instead of "He ran a hand up her thigh, and she shivered" I'm writing "He ran a hand up her thigh and she shivered."

J, cheating is probably the wrong word. I'm usually a hero/heroine POV writer, so going into the villain's head feels weird to me. And this villain scares me!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

So, Linda, is this no commas before a conjunction just that editor or is this the norm for what publishers want?

Good luck with adding the evil- I mean villain's POV! You know what they say - push your comfort zone.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Whooo-weee, I know about those villains who scare me. Yuk. Sometimes I go back and read what I wrote (mostly in Hiding) and I'm like...HOW did I write that?

Good luck.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Paty, I think it's *this* particular house, but it may also be *this* particular editor. I didn't have to remove them in WHAT MATTERED MOST, which had a different editor. However, I think I'm going to ask for clarification, because there is a difference between a serial comma and a coordinate/compound comma. It's nagging at me, although I guess it's a weird thing to get buggy over.

Elisa, if you're here, does your editor want the comma before the conjunction in a compound sentence?

Joan, I'm already cringing at the scene I'm contemplating writing. It has ick factor.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

I had to get used to taking those commas out at a different publishing house a few years ago, when they switched to what they called a "casual" style of grammar. Ugh. It took me a *long* time to get used to it, and I still can't say I like it. LOL

My old editor at Samhain took out quite a few of my commas in my last couple of books. I haven't worked with my new editor on an ms yet, so I don't know if she'll do the same thing.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Edie said...

Commas are pesky. That's all I'm going to say about it. *g*

I'm with Paty about getting out of your comfort zone. Of course, that's easy for me to say. I don't have villains in my stories.

12:26 PM  

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