Any Work In Progress, especially your first, will feel as precious as a newborn baby. You protect and love it fiercely. And when an agent, editor, or beta reader tells you you need to make drastic changes to your work, the tendency is to gasp in a Scarlett O’Hara-esque manner. “Make a big change,” you cry, bringing a hand to your forehead and turning your head dramatically to the side. “Whatever shall I do with this most distressing news?”
Well, before we all go into triggered panic attacks it’s important to remember the recommendation to edit is not malicious. It is only ever out of a desire for you to succeed. Unless you live in a Telenovella and there is some dastardly plot afoot. Then it might be totally malicious in its intent.
Assuming though, that you live in the real world and there are no evil twins running around in your life, take the suggestions as what they are: suggestions. It’s possible that you are missing something vital in your story that will allow the reader to appreciate the otherwise seemingly random scene in your story. If you segue without a…well…a segue, then it will leave the reader confused as to how they got to that point. Or if you have a habit of using a word or phrase too many times it’s time to break out the old Ctrl+F and a thesaurus.
Your first book isn’t going to be perfect right out of the gate and your first draft is a newborn baby before they wipe it off. You can see the potential but it’s hidden under a lot of proverbial goo.
So even though its your baby and is perfect in your eyes, remember that no one else feels that way. To them it’s a noisy poop maker that they hope to god doesn’t sit next to them on a plane. You have to make them love the baby as much as you do.
Now if you’ll excuse me, the edits from my agent just came in for The Sword and Shield and I’m going to go and start dismembering my own baby.
Bye for now!