Vision: A Resource for Writers
Holly Lisle's Vision
By Carol Stephenson
2002, Carol Stephenson
When I received a four-page revision letter from a
Silhouette editor on NORA'S PRIDE, the first thing I did was take a deep breath
and contact the editor directly about an item I didn't understand. If
you've never called an editor, be prepared, as I was patched straight through to
the editor. After surviving that call, the second thing I did was sit down
and tag with red flags those pages for which the editor had suggested specific
While those comments had seemed lengthy in the letter,
after I tagged them, I could see these changes were neither numerous nor
Then I rolled my eyes because the next item in the
editor's letter was major: the editor wanted me to delete or streamline scenes
in which the hero and heroine were either not together or were together with
others present. She also requested more scenes with only the hero and
heroine. Since my old scene graph was outdated from previous revisions,
the time-consuming task of recharting my book to spot the problem areas and
scenes to delete loomed ahead of me. This was not good, as I needed to do
a quick turnaround on the revisions (think "first book sale" ribbon
for the July national conference).
My gaze lit on the packet of color flags, and a light
bulb went off.
I assigned green flags to "hero/heroine not
together," orange for "together but not alone," and yellow for
"alone." It took me less than half an hour to flip through the
manuscript and tag each scene with the appropriate color flag.
Voila. I had a clear, colorful visual aid of
what the editor was talking about. Immediately, I could see areas of
concentration of a particular color and flip to them. Yep, here were two
green scenes I could target for elimination and create yellow scenes in their
stead. And oh yeah, there were two orange scenes that I could convert into
Next time you receive a revision letter, try assigning
colors to specific items, and see if this will shortcut the for process.
Color me happy.