My Chat With an Editor

Hooray! I've been waiting to hear back from Eric Elfman, a freelance editor, about the first four chapters of my novel TEARS, and I finally got to talk to him about it today! He said my opening is really strong, and so is the protag, Kiana, as a character. He really got down to business on world-building, which is exactly what I needed, and he also got nitpicky on seemingly insignificant details that will make a huge difference in making my story more realistic.


He gave a few other helpful tips that I thought I would pass on:


Exposition has to come in response to a character's emotion or else it will seem out of place and take away from the story. If you have it in the wrong place it will pull the reader out and make them disinterested. For example, I explain some of the rules of my fantasy world right in the middle of a tense scene, but he suggested I move it after the character has a little bit of an emotional release, to when Kiana can really think about why no one can cry in her world instead of thinking about it when she should be worried about the danger in the opening scene.


And he said the more complex your characters/story can be, the better (which is kind of a "duh," but still helpful to be reminded of), and he suggested a way to make Kiana more complicated as a character, as well as a few of my other characters. So hooray. I have work to do! 

Hope you all have a great weekend with lots of happy writing!


Btw, if anyone is interested, Eric's website is here: http://www.ericelfmancoaching.com/

15 comments

Sarah Pearson said...

Yay! Sounds like a really positive response.

Maeve Frazier said...

Cortney - Sounds like great advice! Good luck with your story!

Peggy Eddleman said...

So nice to get such great advice-- especially when it's tailored to your book! And I think his exposition and complexity advice is spot on for everyone.

Cortney said...

Thanks, guys! :D

J. A. Bennett said...

Great tips! I almost want to hire an editor BEFORE sending it off to an agent, would that be weird?

Cortney said...

J.A., no not weird at all, in fact, I wish I'd done it before I submitted to agents because then my story would have been completely ready (even though I thought it was), and maybe I'd have an agent by now!

E.R. King said...

Great advice! That is so cool that you got his feedback on your chapters. It will help you with your entire MS.

alexia said...

Sounds like great advice! That kind of feedback is worth more than gold. Good luck!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like you got a lot out of it!
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Joanne said...

It's always helpful to get a professional's advice on our work, thanks for sharing :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Great advice! :)

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Sounds like you got some great feedback! Good luck with the continued writing!

Deana said...

Wow, he sounds terrific! Isn't it nice to have a direction to work:)

Cortney said...

It is nice and super helpful, thanks guys!

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm dealing with that now. I need to make some characters more complex in my wip. Great advice.

Back to Top