Thursday, July 9, 2009

Murph's Challenge - The Answers

Thanks to everyone who played along with Murph's Challenge, and thanks, too, to Murph for being such a great sport. This was a lot of fun.

I enjoyed reading the entries and, even more so, I enjoyed reading some of your comments. What a delight to discover that some of you have made friends and formed critiquing relationships through the comments. It tickles me to think that this blog has that kind of ripple effect.

So, without further ado, here are the correct answers.

Secrets #23
Reflections of Beauty – Theresa for copy edits
Forever My Love – Theresa for copy edits
Educating Eva – Alicia
The Sex Slave – Alicia

Secrets #24
War God - Alicia
Hot on her Heels -Theresa for line editing
Shadow Wolf - neither
Bad to the Bone - Theresa for copy edits

Secrets #25
Blood Hunt - Theresa for line/copy edits
Enter the Hero - Theresa
Scandalous Behavior - Theresa for line/copy edits
Up To No Good - Theresa for line/copy edits

Secrets #26
Enchanted Spell – neither
Secret Rendezvous - neither
The Spy’s Surrender - Theresa
Exes & Ahhs – Theresa for line/copy edits

Secrets #27
The Bet - Theresa
The Boy Next Door - neither
Devil in a Kilt - Theresa for line/copy edits
Heart's Storm - Theresa for copy edits

So here's why this starts to get complicated. We had some orphans when another editor left, and I gave them a quick spin through the Theresa machine before they went to proofing. So that accounts for some of the ones I line or copy edited but didn't acquire.

And then somewhere in the middle of this run of volumes, we changed our style manual, and I re-copy edited a couple of stories to make sure they were consistent with some of the rules changes. (Our copy editor also had a hand in that process. I was just pitching in.)

As if that's not enough, I also consult with editors here and there through the editing process. I made some recommendations to the editors on a couple of these stories, but not all of those recommendations were implemented. So my grubby little fingerprints are all over these volumes, even if I didn't acquire many of the stories in them. (I do acquire more e-books, if you're wondering about numbers.)

On this list, there are only three titles I acquired and saw all the way through: Enter the Hero, The Spy's Surrender, The Bet. Two are historicals and one is a dystopian futuristic. This isn't a coincidence. I like stories with strong world-building, and historicals and ffp are more likely to have that element. Paranormals, sometimes, too.

Want to know a bit about why I acquired each of these three stories?

Enter the Hero -- This story was so outside-the-box that I simply had to have it. Had to. It's like a highly eroticized kung fu movie that manages to pay tribute to Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale." I loved the way the hero rescues the heroine over and over in their play-acting, and then rescues her for real at the end. Plus, I had to reach for my sweater while reading the scene where she's naked and shivering during a prison intake inspection . That was some vivid writing.

The Spy's Surrender -- I tend to go halfsies on Regency stories. Half I love, and half bore me silly because this world has been done to death. But Juliet's story was anything but boring. The chateau setting really comes alive, and the dirty Shakespeare game was so inventive that I wished I could play it, too. The heroine is neither a sheltered bookish priss nor a foot-stomper in boy's clothing. She's a mature woman (in outlook if not in years), sexually sophisticated, and tenderhearted. A very appealing character.

The Bet -- Here's a story I've told a thousand times. Alicia and I were having one of our emailfests, and we were talking about story tropes we didn't ever want to see again because they'd been so overdone. My choice for the dead plot award -- stories in which characters bet each other that they can have sex with someone. I was so over them. Well, about a week later, here comes this story from Leigh, who had already dazzled readers with "The Disciplinarian" in Secrets 15. She proved that I should never say never. Yes, her story is about a sex bet, but the terms of their bet are so intriguing that I had to keep reading just to see how Damian would pull it off. (He bets that he can make a woman have an orgasm just by talking to her.)

Well, there you have it. A glimpse into the inner workings of Red Sage. Probably not too enlightening, but maybe it was fun. Well, it was fun for me, anyway. ;)


(fwiw, not one entry picked me as editing any of these stories. A perfect bagel.)


Riley Murphy said...

Drat! Foiled again, Batman! (insert me sticking my fist up in the air in frustration);D And hey, Ms. T, not that I want you choking on your perfect bagel when I tell you this BUT, I did pick you for editing Devil in a Kilt. I'm just saying, because after the massive list of picks I submitted I figured I deserve to be correct once, right?

Genella deGrey said...

I'd like to hear more about the "style manual" you mentioned.


Unknown said...

Thanks Theresa! I had fun. Murphy, did I steal your thunder? I didn't mean to do that but if it's any consolation I only got one right too:).

Anonymous said...

Is there a difference when we are talking about editing? I think a writer needs to find the right editor for their story. Period.

Edittorrent said...

Anon, would that writers were so lucky they could have their pick of editors. :) I think maybe John Grisham does. Stephen King, probably.

And editors don't just acquire. Then they edit. And it could be that the one editor a writer wants, I guess, isn't the editor who would actually edit the book best. In some houses, those two functions (acquisition and editing) are separate, of course.

But it's the publisher's name on the check, and the publisher is the one who chooses the editor, at least until the writer makes John Grisham money!

Edittorrent said...

Murphy, I wasn't being very clear. I meant that nobody correctly picked me for acquiring any of the three I acquired and edited. The others -- the ones where I pitched in on line or copy editing for various reasons -- were correctly picked by a bunch of people. My influence on those projects was pretty minimal in most cases, but I included them to be fair.

Anon, when I assign authors to editors, I make every effort to make a good match in terms of interest and temperament.