Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Jillian Micheals of the editorial world

I have decided that my editor is the Jillian Micheals of the editorial world -- very tough but with a lot of heart and absolutely 100 percent committed to making my stories absolutely the strongest possible. She pushes me and she certainly doesn't accept second best.
Before Christmas, she asked me to set aside the one I was currently working on. It just wasn't strong enough in its current form and in fact in her judgement, it was getting weaker. A hard decision for both of us. But I trust her judgement.
And after thinking a lot about it, I realised that among other things, it should have been the last book of a quartet rather than the first book of a duo. It may eventually get there. It may even be more single title than series. Loads of things needed to change and it just was not happening.
Did it hurt? Yes.
Was it the right decision? Yes. It is far far worse in the long term to put out something that is substandard.
I rather wait and get it right. That book has huge potential. I am just not ready to realise its potential yet (and I have 3 other books in the series to write first!)
And I toss this out so that people can realise being a published author doesn't mean that your books are always accepted. You are only as good as your last book. It happens  -- far more often than people might think. The difference is what you do after a set back.

I am currently working on a new ms. Stand alone Regency The partial has been sent back twice. My editor thinks it can be strengthened. And she is right. (Among other things I had gone for a reactionary start -- emotional situation but the heroine was passive) She is utterly committed to making my work as strong as possible. I am very lucky to have her. I want it to be my best to date and my editor is certainly trying to get me there.

So when I have been doing my 30 day shred with Jillian Micheals dvd, I have been thinking about my editor and her determination to wring every last drop of emotion out of this story and to push me to do my best.
It isn't easy but the results will be worth it.
With my shred, I have moved up to level 2 and am busy dying. My clothes are getting looser though, so the results are starting to happen.
If someone is going to make big promises, they have to be tough and they have to be willing to see it through.

Have I said that I love my editor?


Kate Walker said...

Congratulations to you for the 'shredding' - for the determination and commitment that has kept you going even when times were tough and made you take great steps forward towards results - in both fitness and writing. It isn't an automatic set-up that once we are accepted authors then every book goes through easily - if at all. I lost my second book that way. And the more authors who have the courage to acknowledge this happening, the more not yet published authors will have a realistic idea of the way being a published author actually is.

Good luck with both sets of 'shredding' and both your Jillians.

Michelle Styles said...

Kate --

I know your story of your second book and how several years later it became a firm favourite of many of your readers.
It helps me to keep going.

It does worry me that people sometimes get this pie in the sky everything is easy mentality. It isn't.
And btw, I still have a four book contract to fulfil. The deadlines are out the window, but the contract remains. My editor expects me to fulfil it with really strong satisfying reads.

Rula Sinara said...

Wonderful post, Michelle. I so agree, even as an unpublished writer, that it's worse to put something substandard out there. Everything I've read of yours has been fantastic though. Kate is right. It's very helpful for those of us who are unpublished to hear these stories about what published authors go through to keep putting their best work out there. It helps us set realistic goals and it will help us deal with similar situations when we encounter them.

That said, I have no doubt you'll pull if off beautifully! And congrats on the shredding accomplishments :).

a said...

Can't speak to the writing part, but as for the physical shredding, keep up the good work! If your clothes are looser, that's a great sign. When I'm in serious get-fit mode, I don't go near a scales--I judge it all on what I can fit into, and what I can pinch. If the waist is looser, that's an accomplishment, Michelle!

Michelle Styles said...

Rula-- thank you.

Az -- Thank you also for the encouragement. I agree looser clothes are the main way to tell that a get fit programme is working.

Nell Dixon said...

I know you can do it. You are a fabulous writer and have the dedication and dicipline.But big hugs, because it's tough and support makes all the difference.

Caroline said...

I read a *lot* of author blogs, and one thing has become crystal clear to me as an unpubbed, and that is "it never gets any easier". Thanks for sharing Michelle - and good luck with the shredding. As always, "a wait" for one of your books is *always" a good wait IMHO. Caroline x