Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Evil Red Pen

The time has come,

After months of writing, rewriting, deleting, editing, and reinserting what was previously deleted, it is finally time to hand over SILENCING SAPPHIRE for a first read.

The first read of my manuscript is generally done by my husband who, besides from being a very talented writer, also happens to be my toughest critic. The upside of being married to another writer is: they know what they're talking about. His notes are always constructive and on point regarding story lines, plot, character beats etc. The downside of being married to another writer is: they know what they're talking about.
I handed him the script this morning. 421 pages, double spaced, on crisp white paper; untainted by man. When I get it back it will be 421 pages, double spaced, on tattered paper that has been completely massacred by the evil red pen. Rarely is the evil red pen the bringer of good news. Besides from the occasional smiley face, its main job is to bring a blood bath of arrows, question marks, grammar corrections, and excruciatingly long notes.
My initial reaction to my husband's notes is usually to flip him off, which I do, then storm off and slam the door. Later, it settles and I realize he's right.
Now it may seem as though I'm being harsh on someone close to me who only does it to help, but trust me, it's okay. Half the time, I'm the one with the evil red pen making notes and he's the one doing the flipping, storming and slamming of the door. (Seriously, our neighbors love us) It's our own dysfunctional way of working together.

The first read is always particularly hard for me. After the first is out of the way it gets easier and by the time the manuscript is at the publisher, my writer's ego is completely out the window and I'm willing to do anything for the greater good of the story.

Will now go and try to refrain from staring intensely at him as he reads--people apparently really hate that; ask my sister--and perhaps go warn the neighbors for possible upcoming disturbances instead.

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