Editing used to be my most detested part of writing, but it's a necessary evil. With my first book, I dared anyone to touch one of my precious words. When I sent in the second manuscript, my editor gently suggested I find a crit partner to help catch things like Point of View changes, typos, etc. I exchanged critiques for years, and I grew and learned a lot by both having my work looked at and challenged, but also by looking at other authors' work and catching their mistakes.

Now I exchange chapters with an author friend -- Hey, Rhonda! -- and after she looks over things, I send to two different readers to make sure the story flows.

Yesterday my agent IM'd me about my latest story, and suggested I add some more depth to the manuscript at the beginning. NOT what I wanted to hear! This story has come so close to hitting the trash so many times, I can't believe I need to work on it again! Argh!

When I first started it, I printed off each chapter as I wrote. One day I signed on to write and the manuscript had disappeared from the computer. I had backed it up on two different floppy discs (yeah, this was a while back!) and both were blank! I cried and ranted and raved. Then I sat down and typed it all back in from my hard copies. NOT fun. This happened a second time a bit later, but only a few chapters disappeared. I began to hate this story.

Then I finally sent it in to my editor, and she asked for some changes. We moved to Florida during that time, and then from an apartment to our house. I did the changes, and found out my editor had switched to women's fiction and no longer did the line I'd written it for. I shelved it again.

Now, this spring, I dug it out, dusted it off, did extensive rewrites, added 30,000 words, and sent it to my agent. The story won't let me go. I wrote the first drafts in anger over abuse I'd seen against innocent little children. It's a hard subject for me. I later pulled away from the anger, and the story grew stronger. I tried to redeem the villain, but she couldn't/wouldn't be redeemed. Well, now I've made peace with her and she will be redeemed in the end. Maybe this is the place I had to get to before the story could work. It's a known fact that abusers most often have been abused themselves. Something awful made them the way they are. In Laurel's case, I had to find out what that cause was, and now I need to weave her pain into the story, and the characters will do their best to help her overcome.

So here I am with yet more rewrites needed. This story has been my biggest and greatest learning process in writing, and I guess I'm not finished yet!

By the time these changes are made, the story will no longer be at all the story it started out to be. Funny how God works, huh?

But it will be better, and I look forward to seeing how it all works out. My prologue has to become part of chapter one. What I'd envisioned adding to chapter one, has to now become the prologue. My mind worked all night honing the details, and as soon as Jettsters goes for his nap, I'll begin.

Until next time...

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