Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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March 3, 2011

The Dreaded Revision Letter

by Charlotte Carter

I’ve authored more than 50 books. You’d think by now I would have a pretty good handle on how to write them.

 Sometimes not so much.

 I received a massive TWO PAGE revision letter on my November Love Inspired release, Big Sky Family. Yikes!

The worst part is that my editor, Emily Rodmell, was RIGHT! I really hate that.

I had totally messed up one scene and should have known better. My hero and heroine were determined not to talk to each other; I had to whip them into shape. Emily didn’t even mention all the typos I’d let slip through.

Emily did what editors are supposed to do: she made my book better. I appreciate that and readers will too.

In the process of transitioning from writing secular romance to inspirational romance, I’m also learning words/phrases NOT to use, at least in a Love Inspired.

  • Do not mention the heroine’s ‘rear end.’
  • A person cannot be ‘ticked’ off.
  • Kisses are not sensual.
  • You may not say, “What the ---”
  • A character may not be referred to as a ‘blow hard.’
  • You can’t say ‘In heaven’s name . . .”
  • Characters may not pray for ‘signs’ of what they should do.
  • Characters are not allowed to ‘swear’ under their breath.

I’m not required to explain why the above is so; neither is the editor. Them’s the rules!

Nonetheless, next time you get a revision letter, or your critique group gives you a hard time, smile. It may be the best thing that could happen to you.

Books that leave you smiling
 from Love Inspired
   Big Sky Reunion, 4/2011
   Big Sky Family, 11/2011

0 comments on “The Dreaded Revision Letter”

  1. Let me just say, as a former editor, that the world needs more writers like you, who recognize editors are there to make our words even better!

  2. Thanks, Patrick. Over the years I've had several editors who have really made my books better. I'd like to think my ms are wonderful as they are submitted. Not always. And 'most' of the time I've appreciated an editor's contribution to making the book much better. Of course, there is that love/hate relationship......
    Thanks for committing...... Char........

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