Lily Iona MacKenzie's Blog for Writers & Readers

MY BLOG POSTS COMMENT ON SOME ASPECT OF WRITING & READING.

The Ripening
The Ripening:
A Canadian Girl Grows Up

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Tillie’s grit and ability to face life’s challenges are inspiring, the seeds for later discovering her artist self. Tillie takes readers on a wild ride. Join her if you dare! "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Curva Peligrosa
Curva Peligrosa

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

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FLING!
Fling!

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

"Fling! is both hilarious and touching. Every page is a surprise, and the characters! I especially loved Bubbles, one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction. A scintillating read."

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
Freefall
Freefall :
A Divine Comedy

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" These fascinating characters will fill your imagination, defying expectations about aging, art, and what truly matters in life. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
All This
All This

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" Indicative of the title, the poems in All This range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. "

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
No More Kings
No More Kings

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

" A wildly inventive, consistently engaging, and amusing comic novel, but under its bright exterior lurk darker undertones and truths.... "

Each finely crafted poem in this powerful collection comes alive on the page while she traces the days’ journeys with a painter’s eye, a musician’s ear, and the deft pen of a poet.

Lily Iona MacKenzie Books
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The Many Layers of Editing: Part Two

I’ve already submitted a post about the level of editing I’ve been enjoying for my novel Curva Peligrosa, to be published in 2017. I don’t think I would have received such intense feedback if the novel had been published by a large press. While I’m extremely grateful for my publisher/editor’s attentiveness, at times I also feel overwhelmed by the number of comments she’s made that often go beyond suggestions and feel as if she’s taking over my manuscript. It’s a delicate balancing act on her part and on mine.

editrBut her observations also are forcing me to reconsider or question aspects of the work that I have felt were finalized. That is the most painful part: as someone who has knitted in a past life, this process reminds me of what happens if you slip a stitch. The knitter can’t just keep going. She has to return to the place where the error occurred and start over from that point. It’s not a happy move. Yet ultimately, it will give a finished garment that looks professional, not something marred by many snags and snarls.

I’ve had to put my own role as writer aside and let the work itself have prominence. Otherwise, my ego gets too involved in the outcome and I won’t heed valuable criticisms that will improve the overall product.

Fine-tuning a novel takes not only an enormous amount of time but it also requires tremendous patience. Passages that had made perfect sense to me originally take on an opacity when viewed through an attentive reader’s periscope. Novel writers need to be prepared for this kind of scrutiny. We may feel we’ve hit all of the notes in our many drafts, but we also need to recognize our limitations.

It requires a skilled reader to help us see what we’ve missed. And humiliating as that may be, it’s an essential part of the writing craft. Being able to take good criticism and make it part of the final product.

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3 Comments

  1. Agreed that the good of the text must take precedence over the feelings of the author. I guess the key is knowing what’s good criticism and what’s just fussy. Personally I’d rather wear a hand-stitched garment with the odd imperfection, than something ‘professional’ but lacking in character.

  2. Joy-joy. Did I mention JOY? 😀

  3. Ah yes, the many joys of editing!

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