11/15/2011

Revising (Again)


So here we are; the year is about to end. My hope last January was to finish writing, revising and editing my YA manuscript. I had projected being done sometime in May. I missed that deadline, but did finish it to my satisfaction in July. Then I didn’t look at it for a month. When I looked at it again, I asked myself the following questions, “What can I do to make it more commercially appealing to teenage girls? What’s ordinary about the story, which I could boost to out-of-the-ordinary?”

With that in mind, I started a revision. Meanwhile, I finished not only Holly Lisle’s “How to Revise Your Novel,” but even her “How to Think Sideways” courses. As a bonus, she threw in her “How to Write a Series” course for free. I was never planning to write a series, but I read what she had to say about them. Should I ever change my mind, I now know what’s involved. Very interesting, indeed.

Holly’s courses were worth every penny to me. If the day ever comes that I am contracted, many of the things I learned from her, I have never read in any book. That says something, because I’ve read nearly every book on the craft of writing for the past 20 years. Much of what Holly covered wasn’t about craft; it was about career, and not only career, but career longevity.

She also gave me insight about the current state of the publishing industry. Food-for-thought as to what route might be best for me. The Legacy Publisher; Digital First; Self-Publishing, etc, debate. My personal conclusion is that I am still most interested in traditional publishing, whereas Holly Lisle has decided to abandon it entirely. She, however, is in a totally different place from me. Considering her audience and her substantial backlist, her choice for herself makes perfect sense to me.

Anyway, I am now on the verge of completing my manuscript again. What I did felt very much like the lead-in to the Showtime series, “Episodes,” where you see a script being thrown into the air and then shot by a gun, the shattered pieces falling to the ground. But now, my book is almost put back together and, hopefully, much stronger than it was before. I feel that in the course of writing it, I learned so much about writing, and myself, that I hadn't known before.   

During the past year, I attended FOUR writer’s conferences/retreats, and so I have the green light to send the full manuscript to four editors and one agent. The deadline is looming for three of the five. The other two, I have until the end of the year. My hope is to complete the revision in the next two weeks and then send it to everyone.

The intensely difficult work I’ve been doing on my manuscript has prevented me from paying much attention to my blog. I do hope that once I begin sending the manuscript out, time will open up for me again. Not only for more blogging, but for other creative pursuits such as scrapbooking. Except for putting together one obligatory scrapbook, and a Hawaii scrapbook, I haven’t scrapbooked since 2009.

The week after returning from the RWA convention, I took a week off from my writing, which turned out to be excellent brain R&R.

During that week, I sorted my patterned scrapbooking papers. I'd been collecting them for several years, but hadn't done anything with them, except to stack them on a shelf. I separated them into 24 colors, putting them into 24 separate color drawers. Plus, there are drawers for black and white, one for shades of gray, and drawers for beiges to browns. These range from (yellow/beige/brown) across the color wheel to (blue-red/beige/brown)—another 8 drawers’ worth of neutral colored patterned papers.

Being that I have well over 1000 different patterns, it took me something like 30 hours to decide which color drawer each pattern fit into. But it truly was a spirit-rejuvenating break from writing, and I am now so ready to begin scrapbooking again, as well as to begin thinking seriously about my next book.       

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I've been a scrapbooker, too, but all of that's been "shelved" for a while over here. Writing and research and random scraps of notes have taken over my house now!

    Sounds like you're making great progress though on your revisions/submissions. Wishing you all the best. Can't wait to hear the good news to come :-)

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