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While I don't presume to speak for Editorialdom, I can tell you what my three boyos - Thorny, Steve, and Mike - are doing with "Winter's Woes".
1) Mistakes. I write like I think, fast and casually. The editors catch an amazing amount of flubs. Otherwise, the reader distractions would be … um, distracting.
2) Critical Analyses. For example, in "Woes" I had lazily ignored the actual process necessary for an insurance company - Oasis - to take its products to market.
3) Perspective. It's easy for a noob to fall in love with her own prose, to become lost in the gorse. At the expense of the narrative. Cogent editorial reminders - "You stupid bitch!" - can be useful.
4) Ideas. While perhaps not so fungible, a creative rethink can suggest new directions. Such as starting a new series featuring Walker. Or Vanessa. Or Pilar. (In this instance, I'm more likely to follow Robert B.'s example and construct an entirely new character that peripherally interacts with Winter and crew. Like Sunny Randall. And Jesse Stone. Both in Spenser's orbit.)
Overall, are editors a plus, a cipher, a negative?
Book blurbs can be unreliable, can't they? I pay no attention to ones from Stephen King and Clive Cussler. And they aren't the only writers who seem to praise any book that crosses their path.
But some blurbs - like the NY Times, Michael Connelly, NPR, etc. - - are usually valid signalers.
Another author I believe in is Lee Child. Who, in his back-cover praise of Don Winslow, said "Shakespearian … "The Force" is probably the best cop novel ever written."
I'm enjoying the book only partly because Winslow writes sort of like I do. Or, I write like he does would be more accurate. Short, choppy sentences. Like:
"So that's something. Next."
And, talking about condoms: "Double wrap the groceries."
Taken out of context, this doesn't mean much. But I dig the style.
Many of you wait until a complete story is posted to cast what would seem to be a judicious vote. But could you inadvertently be casting a less influential vote?
Other readers vote early and often. (The latest vote counts, but it cancels out the previous one.) Do these early voters have more impact on a story's readership than the wait-until-it's-finished voters?
Perhaps. Anyway, here's my thinking:
Someone who votes when Chapter One is posted will cast, say, one vote out of one hundred. A late voter may be one out of a thousand. The former will have, to some degree, more impact - his vote represents a higher percentage of the total at the time he marks his ballot.
So what? In the end, one vote is one vote. An early vote is one of a thousand by the time the story is complete. Right?
Maybe, maybe not.
Think back to that Chapter One and its 100 votes. A reader score will then be posted; a score which can affect who decides to read the story. And who decides not to.
Each subsequent chapter plays out in a similar manner. But by the time votes are cast after the final chapter is posted, the reader score is more or less settled. Those last votes have less impact. At least in affecting new readers.
So while it's true that the Chapter One vote has shifted from one in one hundred to one in one thousand, that early vote carried more weight - it encouraged readers to dip into the story. Or discouraged them from doing so.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
PS Of course when a vote for one story is measured against all votes for all stories ... well, a grain of sand and all that.
Three editors - - Thorny, Steve and Omachuck - - worked diligently on "Winter's Woes". Any and all mistakes are 100% their fault. Faults.
Grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, plot inconsistencies, lack of character development … each and every gaffe can be traced directly to the Editorial Department. It's not by accident that they're housed in the bowels of this building. Talent finds its own level. Credit due.
Conversely, this author is fully culpable for any and all creative brilliance. Credit due.
The first chapter of my latest story - - "Winter's Woes" - - has slithered through the cracks. A mod must have been on the nod so now the tale is available for … well, for whatever you misbegotten readers do with stories about women.
Hey, mod on the nod. Poetry.
The three editors - - Thorny, Steve, and Omachuck - - worked like … well, how should I describe it? Like distracted schoolboys gazing longingly out a classroom window.
You may notice that some of the early chapters are relatively short. I lengthen them toward the end as the plot focuses and various storylines converge. And, I hope, as the pace accelerates.
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