Righteous anger

The last couple of weeks I’ve been going through both copy edits as well as first reader comments.

Most of the comments are fabulous. I find myself nodding in agreement, or going, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Or just accepting and moving on.

However, every once in a while, I run across something that just makes my blood boil. It might just be a word change, or a simple piece of punctuation. (Something bigger and I tend to not get angry so much.)

Those who know me, know I’m pretty easy going. I’m not necessarily quick to anger. The reaction I have is out of proportion to the change that’s being requested. I’m aware of this. I still react this way.

Fortunately, one of my mentors finally explained this reaction to me.

If I react with anger, it’s because the change is messing with my Voice.

Things sound a particular way in my head, how a character says something. If a change messes with the way that sounds, I shouldn’t accept that change. However, if something in the draft has confused a first reader, I should redraft it so it’s more clear, using my words, my Voice.

It’s funny, but fonts also sometimes make me react this way. I’ve flowed a book into a POD format, changed the font, and got pissed off. The font was Not Right. It had, somehow changed the Voice of the piece.

I once heard someone describe font as the clothes your words wear. The basic structure is still there, the bones, but the font dresses them up. Or down.

So–pay attention when you get angry at a comment. Possibly you’re being unreasonable. I try always to be a reasonable person. Rational.

But sometimes, that anger is a clue.

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