Jun 27, 2011

reflections on the latest round of revisions

I've taken the week off of writing. It's been good, repairing my mind for what I'm sure is another long round of revisions ahead. Today I've very tentatively dived back into my work in progress. This poor novel has been set aside for several multi-week blocks, which has, I'm sure, affected it's rough draft quality. I've gotten to the point where I forget certain plot elements, so I have to go back and figure out what the heck my characters have been thinking/feeling for the past fifty pages.

So basically, for the past month, I've been laboring over revisions for GODMOTHER (not the title it will end up having, but I'll reference it as such for now) like a bat out of hell. Every time I wasn't at work at the coffee shop I was on my living room rug, agonizing over the placement of 54 or so odd scene cards. What came to pass was a third of the book being completely rearranged and rewritten. A lovely blog reader emailed and asked me what exactly these revisions involved. What did my agent have to offer me in terms of revision ideas that I didn't have the sole insight myself to implement?

Every book needs more than one person involved in the creative process. Well, every good book that is. Writers often become convinced that their plot, characters and prose are composed of complete awesomeness. It's a bit like horses wearing blinders. We only see certain aspects of the novel and ignore others. We needs beta-readers, critique partners, agents and eventually editors to help us see the flaws and know how to address them.

In my case, most of my revisions revolved around the development of a single character. This character, who was rather central to the book's overall plot, for some reason was refusing to cooperate with my efforts to make him a living, breathing person. Instead of being the three dimensional, in-depth person I'd hoped he would be, he read rather flat. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to make this character leap off of the page like all of his other cohorts. Super-agent pointed out a few aspects in the books chronology that would help explore this character in depth. And what was only a sentence or two in the editorial letter became an extra eighty or so pages in the manuscript. Scenes were mauled, deleted and replaced. New scenes were written. Personalities and flaws were explored. There were many times in this process where I agonized over whether or not I was actually improving the book or destroying whatever charm it had in the first place. For some reason, I'm always terrified that deleting and rewriting scenes will destroy some unnameable quality that I'll never be able to recover. But, fortunately, that never seems to happen.

Oh, and more kissing. Agent wanted more kissing. But that was one of the easier fixes. ;)

Jun 17, 2011


I've finished working through all my notes and re-reading my novel umpteen times to make sure the revamped/new scenes fit into the story as a whole.

My brain is fried.

It's pretty terrible how intensely focused I become toward the end of this process. I ignore family, friends, hubby and food. I waste away in front of the computer screen and sip endless cups of caffeine and tea.

I think I have to log off the computer now and spend time with real life human beings instead of figments from my imagination.

Just wanted to leave all of you with a resounding: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Because I'm done with revisions.
For now.

Jun 11, 2011

Jun 10, 2011

you don't always need words...

Yesterday, as a fun break from the fifth circle of revision hell, the hubby and I broke out the Photobooth and had a goofy photo session.
Not every story needs words to communicate itself. Although words DO help give things context. Give it your best shot in the comments at interpreting the lovely scenario we're trying to convey. It should be incredibly simple since we're both such modeling pros. I guess that's what happens when you blitz through five seasons of America's Next Top model in a month (Er, not that we did that. No, not at all).
Have some fun with it!

Jun 8, 2011

where I'm at.

One of the most terrifying things about revision is that you have no guarantee how it will turn out. Usually--and hopefully--the changes that you make are for the better. But I always go through the transformation of drafts with the nagging fear that I'm ruining something. It often goes like this:

*write a scene*
Me: This is genius!!
*read it*
Me: Oh shoot... Maybe not...
*reread it/make some tweaks*
Me: Okay, not so bad. It could even be better than the scene I deleted to replace it.

It all comes down to the realization that nothing (or very little) in your draft is infallible or sacred. You just have to have the courage and trust to listen to other, reputable readers and change it.
Here's hoping it all turns out okay!

Jun 5, 2011

he gets it

Me: So--my agent thinks it would be best if I got my revisions back to her by July.
Husband: Oh. I'll see you in a month then.

Jun 2, 2011

legally bound

My husband, who is a wonderful professional photographer, took pictures of me signing my contract the other night. I just thought I would share the exciting moment with you guys and brag on dear husband's abilities.

smiling in my glamorous living room

pen to paper

thoroughly reading

now it's a done deal