That's me, on Wednesday, listening to my editor's voice as she saved my chapter and maybe my book. Remember the other day how murky I found the chapter I was working on? How I couldn't reach the emotions in it? Well, what my editor *didn't* do was rewrite a word of it. Good editors--and she's one of the best-- don't do that. I'm the writer; that's my job. What she did was listen to me whine about my problems with the chapter and then she started talking, digging into what she saw as the most important inner development of my main character, and how that development actually began with this problem chapter. She looked into my character's past, heart, and psyche in the way that only a person who has a superb grasp of human nature--and fiction--can do. I actually found myself gasping as I listened to her revelations. It was like going to a counselor who tells you things about yourself that are so damned true you can't deny them, things that were hidden in your subconscious, things that reveal crucial points, things that give you hope for the future.
It took about fifteen minutes.
My job was to be willing to listen, learn, and not be a know-it-all about my own book, because if there's anything I don't know everything about, as strange as this sounds, it's my own books.
Afterward, I went in to where my mom was watching tv and I stood in the doorway, shaking my head, and exclaiming, "My editor is a genius."
Well, she is. Now all I have to do is remember her wisdom and try to write something that reveals it in action and dialogue.