Monday, July 21, 2008

Letting Go: The Hardest Lesson of All

You’ve written that novel. Polished it up all shiny and sparkly so it gleams in the sun. But then, you feel that itch to polish it some more. And tweak that fourth chapter just a little more. And that villain…. Was he too dark in that tenth chapter? Should I have humanized him a little more? Made him a little more sympathetic?

Yeah, I have this problem too. I have problems learning when to put the editing pen down. You write a book, go through a few edits, but then the editing process never seems to stop because you’ve become obsessive about making the book as perfect as possible.

I wish I had the answer to this dilemma and if anyone does have a suggestion, I’d love to hear it. When it a book done? Right now, my books are done when I reach my deadline. Then they have to go off to my editor no matter if they’ve been through 3 drafts or 8 drafts. I think the other sign that I need to let a book go is when I am only tweaking a word here and a word there instead of making changes to plotlines or character development. At that point, I’m just being obsessive-compulsive.

PUT THE RED PEN DOWN, JOCELYNN, AND STEP AWAY FROM THE MANUSCRIPT.

Then it’s time for ice cream and a movie.

Anyone else have a suggestion for when a book is done?

By the way: I saw Dark Knight on Sunday and it was awwwweeeessssommmeeee! I need to see it again.

3 comments:

Freedom Star said...

Hm...i'd say go get a manicure and/or pedicure, if you're that type of girl. It's always nice to have someone pamper you for a little bit. If that doesn't appeal to you, then find a good book and a nice quiet, relaxing, peaceful place where you won't be disturbed too much. A nice drink and some snacks and just hide from the world in your peaceful corner.

I must admit, ice cream and a movie sounds like a great idea. Even better if the ice cream and a movie made room for a stash of dark chocolate. Yum.

Becky LeJeune said...

I don't have any suggestions for when the book is done, but I've got to say OMG! I am so glad I finished my work early today! I've been under the weather and passed out barely 100 pages into Nightwalker last night, now after about 2 hours, I'm in the homestretch with less than 70 to go! I'll be reviewing it this weekend at bookbitch.com and probably posting something on my blog about it. I LOVE IT!

Just had to let you know.

Jocelynn said...

Freedom star: chocolate goes with everything....

Becky: I hope you feel better soon. I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying Nightwalker.