Have Balloons, Will Rewrite

Barbara Custer's Life Raft: Earth features suspenseful science fiction.Over the last few days I’ve been fortifying myself with Mylar balloons. I’m contemplating my next trip to Giant and a butterfly balloon acquisition. On top of that, I released my SF novella, Life Raft: Earth. Why? A lot of work lies ahead on When Blood Reigns, my sequel to Steel Rose. Over the last year, I took the book to my writers’ group for critique and then I finally sent it off to Gemini Wordsmiths for developmental editing. With these folks, you’re getting two pairs of eyes, so no mistakes will slip by. Having read my report, I think every writer should consider a developmental edit. Ruth and Ann are good writer buddies and they know their stuff. After the rewrite, I’m hoping to submit the manuscript. Perhaps I can learn something and be a better editor for the Night to Dawn authors.

Rewrite is the operative word. I’m looking at a lot of changes, some of them major. I didn’t realize I had so many plot holes. Developmental editing addresses facets of each character; it goes beyond content editing. Ruth assured me that red is good. Still, I’ve wondered if I’m up to the task. Mind you, the report came on the heels of my cataract surgery. Most news after any surgery can overwhelm, and this time out, I had inflammation and pressure changes in my right eye. Most of that has resolved and I’m doing better now.

Having read the corrected manuscript, I’m up for the job, especially if I’m well rested. On my last day off from my day job, I reworked a few suggestions, using the BIC (butt-in-chair) approach. The most difficult project will be introducing the characters so that When Blood Reigns can work as a stand-alone book. So I’m fortifying myself with balloons. Heck, if zombies broke into my neighborhood. I’d purchase a gun and somehow a Mylar balloon would follow me home.

Have you gone with a developmental edit? Did you find yourself having moments of discouragement? I’d love to hear about your experiences.


About Barbara Custer

Author of: Twilight Healer Steel Rose Life Raft: Earth City of Brotherly Death Close Liaisons Infinite Sight When Blood Reigns Infinite Sight Publisher / Editor of Night to Dawn Books & Magazine
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Joseph J. Patchen

    I edit as I go and my wife steps in to make sure tenses and plot are in order. After all the mind plays many tricks. I like to get finished pieces out immediately; afraid to let them sit too long. Part of it is a lack of patience and part of it is the plain and simple truth that most of us writers are narcissists. But I wanted to speak about discouragement. To me, and those I admire, discouragement is a constant companion. I am met with discouragement constantly; some of it polite; some of it downright nasty but in every walk of life there are always others drooling to bring you down.

    • When Mike lived at home, he used to critique my short stores and it helped a lot. And what you said about others wanting to bring you down is oh, so true. It was great hearing from you. 🙂 Barbara of the Balloons

  2. Love your “can do” attitude and your willingness to learn. I’ve never used a developmental editor, but I have the best critique group in the world. They, and the habit of putting something I think is finished aside to cool, then coming back to look at it later, are my guides to knowing when something is ready for the world to see.

    • I admire your ability to put things aside to let them cool. Sometimes I find it hard to do that because I want to keep going. Thanks. 🙂 ~ Barbara of the Balloons

  3. Very interesting article about developmental editing. I don’t go that route because of the types of books I write. I like to do my own. However, I can see why it’s necessary in certain genres, such as yours. You have the tenacity and perseverance of an excellent writer. Good luck with your book, Barbara.

    • I appreciate your support, Catherine. I don’t think I’d use a developmental editor if I was doing nonfiction, but genre books seem to benefits from an editor who is experienced in that genre. 🙂 ~ Barbara of the Balloons

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 452 other subscribers