back to the drawing board

Abby Road” is the book I’m currently shopping to literary agents. After a pretty promising query cycle earlier this year, things have kind of stalled. Which makes me question the novel content itself. Ergo, I sent it off to an editor to see what the deal is.
Just for the fun of it, I thought I’d share some of the notes I received from said Editor over the weekend.
This particular editing package she offers is called “Fire Starter.” (Does your first chapter have what it takes to immediately draw in the reader? etc.)  
Despite the rather tough love received, I will say that Editor mentions just about everything I know is weak about this chapter. 
So……no hard feelings, eh? And I’ve already taken these notes to heart and composed a shiny new beginning to my book, while also taken an editorial hatchet to the original chapters one and two. 

Rather liberating.
Poor Abby, though. Seriously. Hasn’t she been through enough?  

Finish this thought. Such a great metaphor, and great imagery. But you don’t finish it and it seems to just fade away.

Not sure how old the ladies are, but this seems childish to me.

I feel like there is a LOT of telling here, and not nearly enough showing.

We don’t get to FEEL the character’s pain, because we are only told about it. This makes her seems apathetic to the reader. Meaning, we cannot relate to her, and therefore, her plight is not something we are really interested in.

So far, we are 7 pages in, which is ½ way as I am looking at the page total. Nothing has happened in the story. Nothing. There are things going on, but there is nothing happening. 

I’m starting to feel like you have as a writer backed yourself into a completely unbelievable scenario. What could possibly be a funny and even heartfelt chapter has turned into a rather hard to believe and LONG nearly 9-page phone call.

The pacing is really slow here. I am really losing interest in these characters. You need to move the reader into the story and engage them. We have no idea why we need to or should care about either of these characters or the ones mentioned. 

Because the pacing is so slow and there is very little action, there is little to do but sit around and wait for Molly to say something witty. 

This is a nice relationship if you can get it, but like the rest of the novel thus far reads a bit incredulous.

I want to love this story so much. I feel however that it is lacking for lack of a better word, SOUL. In a story about musicians you need FIRE. You need tension, and sizzle and emotion. This story lacks those things and the pacing must be like that of a song. This one seems like a ballad that doesn’t ever really get going.

Other than that, I think you possibly have the start to a good story that would be of interest to readers. I encourage you to continue working on it and not to be discouraged.

I have no editorial commentary about these notes, except that she’s pretty much dead on. And now, I kind of love my new beginning. Win!

One thought on “back to the drawing board

  1. loverofwords says:

    OL, what a great editor. Her comments were thoughtful and direct. I know you will end up with a good book and I will be the first to buy a copy.

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