The Dreaded Edits?
I think all writers come to a point in their career, at least once, but in my case several times, where they wonder: How much further can I go in my craft? Have I reached a point I can’t seem to go beyond, and if I can’t, what happens next? Do I remain at this level and hope my stories entertain anyway?
I have just completed my first round revision of His Beautiful Wench
. In the original, Amelia and Emmett were a sweet couple who adored one another and had average sex. My editor, Jilly, asked that I expand the sex scenes—ten of them, oooh la la!—and draw the reader into Amelia and Emmett’s sexual world a little more. I wasn’t sure I could do that. I opened the edits and shook my head, convinced I couldn’t do any more than I’d already done. I wanted to cry. So I left the edits for a week, telling myself I couldn’t do it. Then I asked: Why can’t I? What’s stopping me doing this?
The answer is easy. Lack of self-confidence. I didn’t believe in myself enough.
So I began edits this Monday with a heavy heart, thinking I’d fail miserably. At first, I couldn’t push past the block that has been with me for a while with regard to certain aspects of my writing. But then something happened. I added to the sex scenes, and a new dimension appeared, a new side to Amelia and Emmett that wasn’t there before. They liked to play sex games now, and I just hadn’t realised that before. Over the past four days, I’ve gone back to each scene I added to and added some more, new shifts that surprised me and changed Amelia from a rather clinging female to an outright wanton wench! She now says things she would never have said before. Does things she would never have done. And wow, she’s now a 1800s woman who knows exactly what she wants in the bedroom and strives to get it.
All in all, I’m really pleased with the changes in this book. Even with the cuts I made later on in the story, I’ve written even more, taking the word count well over the original. I’m so pleased with how I learned to add more layers to my sex scenes and bring in more emotion. I’m excited now to apply this new knowledge to my future books.
Thank you, Jilly, for asking me to do this and for having faith, when I didn’t have any, that I could do it.