"I had sold my novel, The Wilding. My edi-and then this:
tor at Graywolf Press, Fiona McCrae, told me how excited
she was about the manuscript, but wondered if I might be
amenable to some changes. Of course, I said. What did
she have in mind? 'How about let’s start with the point of
view?' she said. 'Might we shift it from ﬁrst to third? And
in doing so, with the freedom afforded to the characters,
perhaps we could add ﬁve interlocking plotlines all com-
ing to a head at once?' The book had good bones, in other
words, but it needed some renovation."
"It took me a year to rewrite The Wilding, to change from first to third person, to free up those characters and braid together their stories. And when I handed it in to Fiona in March 2009, she said . . . 'Fantastic. Exactly what we wanted. Now, would you mind cutting several of these sub-plots? And maybe we could add another in a female perspective? And while we're at it, how about let's rethink the ending?' And, and, and."
All I could think was, "Wow! An editor acquired a book that needed ALL that revision? She waited a year for revisions, and then asked for more?" I was left shaking my head in wonder. As a writer, all I could think was how amazing, validating, affirming it is to know someone has that kind of faith in your work; that much love for just the idea of what you're writing! That's the kind of excitement and enthusiasm you want for your writing!
I'm grateful to articles like these because most authors don't know what it's like for other authors. We are an isolated bunch, but reading others' experiences gives us great insight into our own, and to the industry in which we are investing so much time, energy and heart, with no promise of any kind of return, save for our love of the craft.