Monday, May 24, 2010

The importance of an editor

I've said it before, I'll say it again: if you're writing an Oz story, or any story, get an editor on board.

Remember sometime back when I said I was puttering away with my own Oz story? Well, after sending the first several chapters to a proofreader I lined up, I asked him if he thought I'd got the characters right. He held nothing back in telling me that were parts of my story that just didn't flow right.

As I have now started re-writing, I'll tell you that part of it involved Jellia Jamb finding an item that got lost about the time of The Road to Oz. The proofreader felt that after I had described Jellia as being responsible and dexterous, it was not in keeping with her character to have her miss something for over presumably a century. (I never specified when the story took place, but some readers might see it that way.)

But instead of just telling me that these points were no good, he suggested ways to improve character and plot development. In fact, it was his suggestion that I combine my ideas for two Oz novellas: one in which Button-Bright and the Wizard have an adventure, and another in which Ozma and the Scarecrow have one. According to the current plan, the Scarecrow will not journey with Ozma, but instead take part in something that might be interesting to look into in a chapter.

Anyways, sometimes starting over is a good thing, especially when you got someone on board who knows what they're talking about.

And no, I'm not going to tell you when to expect this story, or who will illustrate it, and I'll tell you right now, I don't think it would make a great movie. All I want to do is write an Oz story that will be fun to read. Oz books should be fun, and if you get so caught up in Oz, it's not fun anymore, you might as well quit.

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