1/16/2012

Keep On Keeping On

I woke up at 4:00 am this morning feeling sad. It's not unusual for me to wake up so early. I liked that it was 4:00 am instead of 1:30 or 2:00 am (which is also not unusual).

If I wake up at 4:00 am, then I get to get up in only an hour or two. If earlier, I'd have to try to get back to sleep, or be tired at work the next day.

Waking up isn't unusual, but waking up with a sense of sadness really is. Generally I am such a morning person that I can hardly wait to spring (happily) out of bed.

But this morning? Well, it struck me. The last post I wrote, only a couple of days ago, I thought I was so close to being able to send out queries on my YA manuscript. Now I see that I'm still weeks, months, away from doing so.

I LOVE that 14 people critiqued the manuscript. I'm planning to read each and every one of their suggestions and take them to heart. The problem is the time it will take. When will there be time in my schedule to start working on my new manuscript idea? Probably March or later.

Friday-yesterday, I worked all day each day on the manuscript and was able to work through only parts of only THREE people's suggested changes.

  • It took me all day one day to remove unnecessary uses of the word "said" from the manuscript
  • I also did a global edit and removed "language"--such words as Jeez, damn, God--not that there were so many of them, but my critiquers have a point: Without them, even the most discriminating readers, who will set a book down if they run across a swear word, could enjoy reading it.
  • I removed word doubles--times when I inadvertently wrote the same word twice. 
  • I addressed the issue of the hero's white gloves with the fingertips cut off: I clarified, then eliminated overkill and brought the mention of gloves down to a dozen instances, all necessary. I also "more fully rendered/realized" the scene where he finally removes the gloves.
  • I changed the scene where the heroine meets the bad boy/wrong boy and made him a little more likable in the beginning, so there's a more plausible reason why she ends up spending time with him instead of the hero.
  • I got through ALL of the comments made by only ONE critiquer, addressing questions that came up for her while reading the manuscript. 

I know without looking at the others' comments that there are still many more issues to be addressed; I wrote them down during the group critique, or what my friend Sharon calls, "The Inquisition."

It appears that it will take me a full day or more (8+ hours) to address each critiquer's issues.

It feels like an effort to "get up one flight of stairs," only to turn at the landing and start going up another flight, and another, and another.

It will get done, but given the small amount of free time I normally have, and less in the next three weeks, it will be months before the revision is complete. At that point, I might want to give it to the critique group for one last pass.

Anyway. That's where I'm at. Happy to have been given excellent suggestions. Sad that it will take so long to make all the changes. Sad that it'll be months before time opens up enough to begin working on a new manuscript.

3 comments:

  1. At least it sounds like most of your critiques were for minor, relatively fixable stuff. That's great! It means you have a story that interests and draws people in.

    It has taken me several weeks so far to address some of my similar (and bigger!) issues. Sometimes it feels like revising never ends.

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  2. I can soooooo relate to this post! I've been revising the same manuscript for going on 2 years now. It's been worth it because it's so much better than it was before. It's frustrating though, because every time I think I'm ready to query it, I get additional feedback that needs attention. I guess there does come a point where enough is enough, but I'm just not quite there yet. Best of luck with your revisions!

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  3. Don't be discouraged, Cathy! Your manuscript is amazing. By making these changes, your story is getting even better, I know it. We're all rooting for you!!!

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