My favorite editors hate books

Critique groups are great, but having other writers critique your writing only goes so far. After all, you’re writing for readers, not writers. Readers will tell you what’s enjoyable, what’s confusing, and what needs work. They don’t focus on the “rules of writing” or other unnecessary bits. 🙂

However, my favorite editors aren’t even readers. They don’t step into my stories with any sort of formula built into their heads. Their expectations are…  nonexistent. And to be honest, their feedback is spot-on.

My number one all-time favorite editor is my new husband. He probably owns three books. Total. Yet we bond over my books, somehow. Any time spent in the car is time spent on my books. But instead of having him read them, which he can’t stand to do, I read to him. As we go, he inserts comments, complains about characters, and asks questions when he’s confused. His comments are like little gold nuggets dropped along a path, and I’m eager to scoop them up. He’s blunt and honest, practical and realistic. He’s not trying to please me (after all, he already won me! 🙂 )

Another of my favorite editors is more of a brainstormer. This friend doesn’t really read fiction, but we talk through plots and come up with new ideas. He approaches these brainstorming sessions as a mathematician, a scientist, and a theologian. He tells me how A + B can’t equal C, therefore the plot needs to change. He tells me my interpretation of a certain Scripture isn’t quite what it should be. And while he’s an odd choice for a brainstorming friend, no writer friend has yet matched his abilities.

I could go on forever listing all the non-writers who have provided me with research help, editing skills, and brainstorming power. But the point is, it’s healthy to move outside the rut. Get ideas from those who aren’t exactly like-minded and you’ll have a wealth of talents to draw from.

Don’t limit yourself to help from people who think just like you. Make your writing as colorful and diverse as the variety of readers who will pick it up.


My Latest Work in Progress

Trusting a Thief, a historical novel set in World War II England

When an orphan girl robs London’s Chief of Police, he sees her potential and ropes her into spy work. But Lily Scarlett, still a thief at heart, has other plans.

Lily ages out of the children’s home in 1943 when World War II is in full swing, and her only option is to work for the police chief who had sponsored her education until she could become his apprentice. But the man she meets is not what she’d expected. Chief Rooker rubs shoulders with German spies, hides his family connections, and knows way too much about everyone – including her. She’s intrigued, and begins working for the man, if only to figure out who he is.

Chief Rooker sends Lily on assignments to spy on the spies, checking up on Britain’s double agents. Disguised in disguises including a pregnant street waif, as a pregnant street waif, a budding starlet, and then a well-to-do neighbor, Lily must find the one leak in their double-agent spy system before the big deception that may end the war with Germany. In return, Chief Rooker promises to locate her mother and give them both the easy, respectable life Lily’s always wanted. And forget to send her to jail for a life of pickpocketing.

Just as she begins trusting her sponsor, she finds out just how much he’s hiding from her. He has secrets about her mother, her best friend, and even her own childhood.

As her trust in him begins to unravel, she finds the “leak” – a man she’s come to adore. Does she protect this gentle man who is doing what he considers right, or does she turn him in and help her country and save herself?