I am doing edits and have been handed a perfect example of why having sharp, experienced eyes on your work is invaluable. And especially eyes that are very well versed in your specific genre. This is one of THE key moments in the entire book, where the reader finally gets the big romantic payoff. This one chapter can either leave them swooning, or vaguely dissatisfied, or if I really screw it up, furious.
I wrote a scene where the hero declared his love and presented the heroine with all the plans he's made for where they'll live and how they'll meld their family and work situations, etc. etc., He had already started putting some of them in place. In my mind, he was demonstrating his commitment by showing her how much he'd actually been thinking and planning for their future, even though he'd been holding back saying so for fairly valid reasons.
It came back red-lined by my editor with the comment that he's once again being the control freak who makes all the decisions and expects her to accept them, instead of asking what she wants and needs, and her letting him roll right over her. What I thought was proof of his love she saw as him being the alpha asshole and her being a doormat. And of course she was right. I'd slotted them back into the roles they occupied at the beginning of the book, invalidating their character arcs. The heroine could push back, but an argument in the middle of the big romantic climax sorta kills the mood, ya know?
I rewrote the scene and it is a hundred times more emotionally satisfying since it puts them on equal footing, showing the sacrifices he's willing to make and control he's forcing himself to cede,.and her accepting that power instead of metaphorically batting her eyelashes and saying, "Whatever you want, big boy."
It's a bit of a spoiler, but I don't think that many of your blog readers are also my readers****, and it's general enough so it really doesn't give much away. It's not like everyone isn't expecting a happily-ever-after, and with this issue of bulldozer versus enabler being the central conflict of the book, it's revealed early on.
Have I mentioned how much I love my editor? There are days I swear she is the other half of my brain. The one that fails to engage more often than I think.
I should also add that this is my seventh published novel, so let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks there comes a day when they'll have this writing thing down and won't need editors. I have actually heard a best-selling author say, "...and I told her, 'Honey, I've written sixty books, I don't need you to tell me how to tell a story.'" Yes. Yes you do. The day you stop soliciting and listening to expert outside advice is the day your work starts going downhill.
***if you're not reading Kari Dell's books, you're missing out.
I was the first to recognize she's an amazing writer, but not the last!