Before I get to waxing about my like for revisions, (which I am deep into this week) I want to drop a link here to a fab review from one of my long-time readers over at B&N SciFi Fantasy Blog This is the blog that I will often drop by and chat with the regulars when a book comes out, so I’m so glad that Paul liked what he found.
It has been right on the edge of insufferable the past couple of days in terms of heat and humidity, hovering at the 90 degree point. I wasn’t having much trouble after 13 years of SC summers, but my plants were. As expected, that second, unfertilized fruit on my pumpkin vine in the picture a few days ago fell off without ever having opened up. It was just too hot. The one already fertilized weathered just fine. I’ve got another immature flower that I’m watching now, and it looks good so far. The rhododendrons, too, I covered with a sheet to keep off the sun. I didn’t plant them in a good spot, and they get too much sun in the afternoon. Most days they can take it, but for the next couple of years as they settle in and the shade plants I put behind them get taller, I will be looking like a dork, hanging curtains in my yard when the temps get above 88.
But right now the house is open and the air is dry and cool. I’m hammering away at the editorial rewrite. It’s been sitting on my desk far too long as I take care of other stuff that had to come first, but I want this done before comic con, (Here’s a great schedule, if you are going. My booth signings are not listed there. To see them, jump over to the event’s page.) which means I’ll be putting in some very long days this week. If the windows are open, I mentally have an easier time sitting at my desk, so this is a very good thing. Fortunately I have a plan of attack, so it’s just going through it and making the changes.
Taking that 3-7 pages of editor suggestions and distilling it to an attack plan is often the hardest part. You have to learn how to translate editor speak into author action. “End the conflict with more tension and drama” sounds great, but how do you do that? My favorite is “expand on this” or “isn’t translating well as written” or “needs more work” or “develop this idea throughout the book more.” (Diana, if you are reading this, I’m not complaining as much as explaining, as long as you don’t use the word neat anymore.) -laugh-
But after a couple of years at this, I’ve found editorial rewrites are often my favorite part of the process because I have to develop this idea, translate that better, add more drama to the end, or completely rewrite the beginning to set the story flow up better. It gets me to think a bit more, tighten the weave, make the ideas I’m trying to convey more understandable and clearer. I can get sloppy, and those edit letters make me straighten up and fly right, and when it comes right down to it, I want this to be the best thing I can write at this time in my life so I can look back at it with pride no matter how sophomoric it might look to me in 20 years.
So I will be sitting happy today at my desk with the windows open and the breeze blowing through, tweaking, tugging, shifting, changing, wedging little bits of chips between the cracks to make a neat package. I have been working with these malleable words and ideas for two years, and it is time to harden it off and let it go.
P.S. Vicki Petterson of the Zodiac series is at the same stage of putting a book together as I am, with the same editor, (how rare is that conjunction!) and she has a much better post than mine about how she actually breaks editor speak down into action. Check out her blog post today for more “inside the writer” action. 🙂 Edit Letters A Rare Writing Post