23 January 2009


Having just about got my head round the fact that I actually sold my book, I'm now eating, sleeping and breathing revisions.

Apparently these are minor, but as I have nothing to compare them with, I've no idea whether they are or not. But Kim, my editor, says they're tweaks and who am I to argue with the person who also said that my story has 'intense emotional conflict, excellent dialogue, appealing characters and an engaging plot'? (Although personally, I'm convinced she's got my book muddled up with a proper writer's.)

So, these tweaks...

Mainly I've skipped over some of the most crucial emotional moments. Those'll be the chapters at the end that I galloped through then. Heavy on dialogue, light on emotional exploration.

At the moment the emotional events happen off stage. This is Not Good as the reader takes on the role of observer instead of seeing the action through the characters' eyes and is pulled out of the story. And that affects the pace. Now this is something I probably should have known, but didn't. Like I should probably have realised that my hero is a control freak. And known that my heroine on occasion accepts things a little too easily. It all seems kind of obvious now. As is how little I do know...

So this week, I've been struggling up that learning curve with a highlighter pen and postit notes and am working on upping the emotional ante.


Suzanne said...

It's easy to see these things once they've been pointed out.

That aside, your editor has given you some fantastic feedback. I'd kill to be able to write a story that had 'intense emotional conflict, excellent dialogue, appealing characters and an engaging plot'.

Hurry up with those revisions so we can buy your book.


Rachael Johns said...

Oh Lucy... I feel your pain - although at least you know they're gonna work with you to make sure it's perfect. I'm trying to up the emotional ante in my rewrite of full before I submit and now I'm wondering if I'm actually killing what was okay. Does that make sense?
Am hoping to finish TODAY!! and then just leave it all up to the Gods!

Good luck! And thanks for sharing... very interesting stuff.

Lucy said...

You're so right, Suzanne. Very much hope that these things come more naturally with experience!

Good luck with the rewrite of the full, Rach. It's so hard to know if what you're doing is right, isn't it? Like stumbling around in the dark without a torch. Trying to find the lightswitch and banging into furniture on the way!

Jackie said...

Good luck with them Lucy! I know I galloped through a few emotional bombshells in mine as well. I should have had a lot more introspection about what was happening internally with the characters rather than all the emotional stuff happening through dialogue.

AT least, that's my guess since I don't actually know. ;-)

Anyway, I'm sure you'll find the lightswitch with the minimum of stumbling. And hey, they bought the book, so you can't be doing too badly!

Lucy said...

I think it's because I don't like long sections of prose or endless introspection...

But talking of all things illuminary, had a bit of a lightbulb moment yesterday. All the off stage bits where I cut on the emotion are written in the past perfect. Lots of 'he'd done this' and 'she'd realised that'.

So am now going over every sentence to see if I can convert the 'had hads' into simple 'hads'. If you see what I mean...

Lorraine P said...

As Jackie says - they've bought the book so that's a huge vote of confidence that they know you can do the revisions.

Do you remember the quote in Kate Walker's book about putting in the amount of emotion you think is right in a scene and then doubling it?

I've tried doing this in a current WIP and am worried it now reads like a melodrama!

Good luck. Look forward to reading the end result :-)

Felicity said...

Hi Lucy,

Jackie just told me that you left a message for me on Rachels blog, so firstly my apologies for not getting in touch sooner. Excuses. Same as for Rach, and also a bit in awe as you won, and even more in awe as you live in Spain. Well done on your sale and I am sure that you will fly through your revisions. If you want to contact me, feel free. My email is fjmorton@bigpond.com I have no blog, well, not yet.

PS. Like you word verification. blymaksp. So much nicer than lardcar. Or do you think a blymaksp is the bit that shakes on your arms when you brush your teeth.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

You can do it, Lucy! Don't over think it. My first round of revisions, I panicked and over compensated -- messed the entire book up (these were more than tweaks, so don't worry). Second time, I nailed it -- except for some of those off-stage emotional things I had to bring into the forefront.

You can and will get this right. Heck, they bought the book! They didn't buy mine until it was 100% ready to go. :)