As one of the winners in P2P, I won the chance to work for a month with Carly Bornstein, a freelance editor.
This experience has been one of the most satisfying writer-ly activities I've ever had. Carly was dead-on in her assessments of what NECTAR AND AMBROSIA needed in terms of character development. I'd had trouble with the main character being a bit one dimensional, but her fresh eyes on the manuscript showed me that the seeds were already there for development, conflict, and depth for the two lead characters.
This was where my inexperience as an author showed, unfortunately. Carly's advice to add more prominent character flaws and challenges made my manuscript so much better (and added greatly needed volume to my word count with the scenes I added).
Once again, the community of writers I worked with proved to be a supportive, cheerleading, commiserating bunch of disconcertingly talented people. Two of them have already garnered agent representation on their manuscripts, and there are other manuscripts so beautiful that I can't believe they won't be snapped up immediately.
I've learned that an editor is an invaluable resource, and that for a truly quality manuscript, you can't skip this step.
Huge thanks to Carly for all of her guidance, and to Samantha Fountain for bringing this whole thing to life.