I had my long awaited Skype call with Sione Aeschliman today. Two things first off: one, Sione is one of the kindest people you could ever work with; two, Sione is one of the most thoughtful people you could ever work with.
Now, what I had originally thought was a critique that was not helpful from her, pertaining to the ending of the book, turned out to be spot on helpful. We talked through the last few paragraphs of the book. I gave some background details she didn’t have from her reading, we talked through what I was intending and came out with something much richer. There was also discussion about another, earlier scene in the book that I can do a fairly easy (though not that easy) revision on that will it much stronger.
All in all, I was extremely impressed by her focus on my material, her inquisitiveness, and thoughtful discussion. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for editing help. She made me feel like a professional.
After that, I blasted through four chapters, though they were somewhat easier to tackle after the more complicated ones I have been dealing with. These were somewhat cool down chapters after build up and climax. As I’ve said before, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but still basically holds.
Words written today: 563
Total for 2017: 52,175
Revision today: 4 chapters
Revision total: 77 chapters
Total words for this manuscript: 123,407 (+14,555 since first draft)
Got my response/critique back from Sione Aeschliman late tonight. I have got to ponder on it some. The biggest part of the critique is very helpful and has to do with Aubrey’s motives and stakes. It is honestly something I’ve been tweaking over time anyway and have some ideas on how to improve.
The other things she offered in the critique? I’m not as sure how helpful they are. We have scheduled a Skype video call next Monday, May 22nd. I will reserve more judgment until then and will give her a chance to respond before saying anything critical.
Saturday. More shenanigans editing the package to send to Sione before she does her pro edit/critique/review. I should mention that her contracted service is to provide me with a high-level response, 2-3 written pages focusing on existing strengths and 2-4 greatest opportunities for further strengthening the pages. The agreement does not include “feedback on clarity, flow, transitions, signposting, or continuity, nor does it include correction of spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, or grammar.” Just so that’s clear. We’ll also have a half hour conversation on Skype to discuss her thoughts on the pages from KINGDOM.
This all good for me. I won’t comment on the fee, but it’s fair and discounted as part of #revpit (which I did not participate in, but followed on Twitter). I will offer comments on Sione’s service after I see her comments and we talk. So far I’m impressed with her professionalism. She is also exceedingly kind.
Friday. No writing today. However, on Monday I do send off a package for the pro edit. I asked and she is fine with mentioning by name. It is the very nice, and outstanding, Sione Aeschliman. I purchased a package from her after #revpit she offered an overview critique of KINGDOM’s first 50 pages, 5 pages from the “darkest” moment, the last 2 pages, and my query letter. It is, granted, a high-level pass, but I’m looking at is a sort of paid beta read and preparation of my query package.
It’s interesting getting this package ready. Though this analogy is not fair to the professionalism Sione exhibits, nor her talent, it’s kind of like when you hire someone to clean your house then spend all weekend cleaning your house before they come. I am scrambling to do edits to all that I’m about to send her. The first 50 pages, coincidentally, encompass Part I (also Act I), so it feels important to get that as complete as possible for her. I’m being obsessive about it, though. I want it spotless, spic and span before she sees and offers her tidying herself.
It’s kind of crazy.
Anyway, I deliver this package to her on Monday, so will spend the weekend do my own tidying in preparation.