For about a week now, I’ve been editing Different Dream Parenting. going through the suggestions sent by the editor at Discovery House and making changes. The process is slow, humbling, engrossing, and painful at times. My thoughts ranged from Did I really write that confusing sentence? to Why does the editor have to be so picky? to I don’t want to do this anymore!
But then something happened this weekend which improved my attitude about the entire process. I was listening to an audiobook by a best selling suspense/conspiracy theory author. He’s written many books and made boatloads of money. Still, I won’t reveal his name – not out of respect, but out of compassion.
I walking along, listening to a scene where the protagonist (male) was in the hospital after an accident and the person who is revealed in the end as the antagonist (female) comes to visit. When the woman enters the room (wearing a white skirt that accentuated her tan legs), the author said, “She placed a pair of penetrating eyes on the man in the hospital bed.”
An image of two eyeballs lying on the fresh, white sheet covering the hospitalized man came to mind, along with several rascally thoughts:
Wouldn’t the eyes roll off onto the floor?
Or would penetrating eyes sink through the sheets and burn into the protagonist’s chest?
Did the sight of penetrating eyes make him want to barf?
What color were they?
Were these the antagonist’s actual eyes?
If so, is she now blind?
Or if they were extra eyes, did she pull them from a pocket?
Wait, wouldn’t penetrating eyes burn right through her pocket?
So were they in a carrying case?
Why in the world didn’t the author’s editor catch that?
Thank goodness my editor wouldn’t let that kind of sloppy writing slip past her.
Suddenly I was eager to return the slow, humbling, engrossing, and sometimes painful task of editing that is ruling my life right now. I was grateful for my editor’s eyes which had deftly penetrated the snafus in my manuscript. Every now and then, I wonder, Does she ever take out those penetrating eyes on some poor sucker’s hospital bed?