Revise, revise, revise!
Uh oh... I'm getting worse at blogging on time. I didn't even know that was possible! But I have been really busy working on a couple of projects. Does that let me off the hook?
I have been doing revisions. I can't say for who at this stage but it is one of my shorter contemporary style romances. I have to say, I love revisions. It means I didn't suck so bad that they said no but there were some flaws with the story or the characterisation or the plot. Or all of the above! Lucky for me in this instance the changes weren't too major and I even got it all finished on time which is also a bonus.
If you're an aspiring author and you have no idea what to do if you get revisions from an editor, always, always to what they want you to. We know as writers that you can never have too many copies of the same story on your harddrive. I end up with about twenty by the end of the process. With these revisions, I saved a new copy of the document and then made all the changes in track changes. That way, when I went off in the wrong direction, I just rejected all changes and then started again. Twice. Also, sometimes the editor wants to know that they can work with you, that you are open to change and that you're not so attached to your baby that you'll get your knickers in a knot when they suggest huge changes. Remember that you can always undo what you've done.
With my last historical, I had to write out a character, change another character's standing in the entire 90k and make so many changes but in the end I had a book that people wanted to read with all the loose end tied up and all the awkward sentences removed or smooothed out. I sold to Carina Press after receiving a revise and resubmit request. They weren't saying they wanted to take the book at that stage but they were saying, make these changes and we'll reconsider. Awesome! I would have been stupid not to have gone along with it.
After all is said and done and sometimes before, ask someone to take a look at it for you. I had some great help with this book and I won't name names because I wouldn't want them inundated with critique requests, but needless to say, I am so grateful they took time out of their busy schedules to help me. I'm grateful the editor saw something in the book and my voice and asked for more. Mostly I'm grateful for the process. Editing and having some direction while you're doing it is so valuable. I wish all writers got to go through it more often...
So the lesson here? Don't ever get too close to your book that you won't part with pieces of it. Don't ever get too close to your characters that you won't kill one if you have to. Eloisa James said they are not your babies, This is a business and that book is your key to success and fame and fortune (okay maybe she didn't say all of that but it was along those lines).
Editors are your friends, not your book's enemy!
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I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.