Author and mentor Susan Carroll has done a masterful job with supplying content editing for my manuscript, Clouds Over Bishop Hill.
Carroll has given me a sorely needed outsider’s perspective.
Carroll’s comments/questions have sent me off into bouts of deep research and the creation of a brand-new character.
Carroll has led me to axe a ton of personal pronouns. (In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s been a lack of “she” used here.)
All this is great and good because I needed to do that research on the Pietism Movement, and the new character solved a problem that had always left me with a vague feeling of squeamishness.
Bonus feature: When I finished writing up the background info and backstory for this new guy, I discovered what really looked like a synopsis for another book. A book that would make a nice prequel to what I’ve got now. The new story might come out a tad bit on the romantic side, but that’s not a bad thing. I just have to do the work.
The most practical lesson I’ve learned so far from Carroll’s edits to my manuscript is that getting rid of “he, she, it, they, and them” helps the reader keep track of things like action and plot development. Good stuff. A lost reader can’t be a happy reader.
So, again, I’m still learning and I’m very grateful to Susan Carroll for her help to keep me on course to a (hopefully) successful novel.
P.S. Susan Carroll did NOT edit this post. Any mistakes are mine.