I laugh when I sort through my memories about the editing of DREAMERS. Unfortunately, the things I remember best are things that had more to do with writing for the sensitivities of a Christian audience than anything else.
For instance–the Egyptians were, by contemporary American standards, an immodest lot. Men typically wore a kilt, and nothing else. Women wore sheer, tight dresses that were not only see-through, but often began beneath the breasts and fell to the ankle.
So–I found myself often being very careful as I described clothing, etc. And then there is that fateful scene where Potiphar’s wife demands that Joseph sleep with her. Depending upon your Bible translation, in the attempt she either grabbed his “robe” or his “garment” or something, but in actuality, she probably grabbed his kilt . . . and kilts were the only garment slaves wore. So, if the truth be told, Joseph was probably running through the house in his birthday suit, not in his skivvies. Not that it matters much to us, but I’m sure it mattered to Joseph.
I just remembered something–and now I just forgot it. Does that happen to you? :-/
Oh–it’s come back. One change in the “refreshed” versions is that I went with the Hebrew names, not the English versions. So Joseph is Yosef, his real name. Why did I do this? Two reasons: 1) for historical accuracy and 2) to honor any Jewish readers who might pick the book up. When I write about Jewish characters, I think it’s only right to use Jewish names in order to properly reflect the culture.
All in all, the editing wasn’t a difficult experience. I think I had to “tone down” a couple of sentences in the seduction scene, but that’s about it. Usually I’m pretty good at keeping my readers’ sensibilities in mind, partly because I share those same sensibilities. 🙂
Tomorrow: The results/reactions. And if you haven’t yet entered the bookbag giveaway contest, read the details below!