The 411 on the 855

In early December, I received the round one edits of (my literary mystery) Where The Broken Lie back from IIP.  Somehow, the editor – for the sake of anonymity let’s call her Louise (in fact, let’s call her Louise Caiola – author of The Making of Nebraska Brown and part of the management team at IIP) – anyway…somehow the editor managed to find 855 ways to improve my novel in her first pass through.

Now, this so-called “Louise” also happens to be the person who first reached out to me about having IIP represent my novel.  Louise and I had connected via Twitter and – long story short – I sent her a free copy of my novel.  A week or so later, Louise contacted me and we had a 30 minute phone conversation about the book and what IIP could do for me.  NOBODY in my life has ever complimented me so much about anything (Tam, Mom – you hearing this?).  She went on and on about how much she loved the story and the writing itself.

“Please, tell me more, Louise.  I have all day.”

Now, she did mention that there was a little bit of clean-up to be done.  And when Louise returned that round one review of my document, I discovered that she and I have a very different understanding of what “a little bit of clean-up” means.  Or perhaps it’s a Midwest vs East Coast thing, I don’t know.  All I do know is that when I opened the doc and saw the number of edits, my first instinct was to check the total word count to see which number was higher (chalk one up for Word Count!).

Here’s the thing though…I agreed with 99% of her edits.  In fact, rather than being discouraged by the process, I was highly charged to have found someone who “got” the story and cared about it enough to give it the tough love it needed.  And that was just round one! I still have (gulp) two more rounds of editing to go through!

Hurray for more editing! the blogger typed.

Seriously, though, I understand that the process is going to result in a better story for the reader which – at the end of the day – is what I care about most.  Well, that and the royalties, but mostly that thing about a better story.

I’ll end by directing your attention to a couple things:

1.  On the right side of the screen, you’ll notice a section called “Out Takes and Short Stories”.  Nothing cryptic here.  This section contains links to a couple short stories I previously had published as well as some parts of Where The Broken Lie that will not be in the finished product.  But I liked them enough that I wanted them to see some light.

2.  If you know of anyone that you think might be interested in my novel, I would very much appreciate your help in spreading the word by sharing the links below:



Filed under Ethan Merrill Rempfer, Hearts Left Behind, Loss of a child, Stillbirth, Uncategorized, Where The Broken Lie

3 responses to “The 411 on the 855

  1. Elaine

    I love your post. Yes, a good editor can make all the difference.


    • Thanks, Elaine! I agree. I’m not sure everyone shares our perspective on that, though. You definitely have to be someone with thick skin.


      • Elaine

        It’s so tough to learn that someone didn’t love everything you labored over. It’s like someone telling you your baby is cute, but needs improvements and then proceeds to tell you things that needs changing, for example, the baby’s hair needs more highlights to really stand out.


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