Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California,
oil on canvas, 1865.
I had just finished re-reading Helen MacInnes' 1944 spy thriller by this title (a phrase from Poland's anthem -- Poland has not yet perished/While still we live) about a young English girl caught up in the fall of Warsaw and subsequent Polish resistance to the Nazis, when the news broke about the tragic plane crash near Smolensk in western Russia.
Poland's president and his entourage were on their way to a memorial at the site of the butchery of 20,000 Polish officers and intellectuals by the secret police during WWII.
Now Katyn forest will forever remain dark and cursed in Polish memory.
* * *
My experience with editors and editing has been remarkably slight. And from some stories I read, I have been remarkably fortunate.
My first fiction editor was M.E. Ellis for Wild Child Publishing, who was a joy and a delight with whom to work. My first story went through three edits, my second, one. My last with none, except perhaps for the odd punctuation correction/paragraph alignment.
When Carina Press assigned me an Editor Guy, I expected wrath, wrenching and bad language. Not so. Editing has been astonishingly painless: a few vague passages, inconsistent spellings of names, continunity double-checking...
His most substantial revision required the insertion of more context/world building/background details here and there - a request which happily expanded my word count by three or four thousand words.
I write too lean.
And as Writtenwyrdd pointed out when she did an early beta reading of the partial manuscript, it sometimes doesn't hurt to remind the reader in chapter six of an important detail mentioned casually in chapter two.
Another thing Editor Guy did (which I thought both practical and brilliant) was to list all the unusual/obscure/arcane words which appear - words like caoine, dullahan, Da-Shealladh - for me to double-check. A list which he then provided to the copy editor to save her from going WTF and much time.
I have made a note to keep a running list of any peculiar/specialized words used in future stories. Copy editors work hard enough as it is.
This weekend I completed an Art Fact Sheet for the production of the cover.