Saturday, May 30, 2009

Revision Starts Now

I've got my revision letter.... and it was pretty much as I expected. My editor has a talent for putting into words the things I know are wrong with my book in my subconscious. She's brilliant and I would be lost without her.

So far, the major issue is that the voice of the book is somewhat off and it needs to be scarier. Scarier? Yeah, I can do scarier, that's not a problem. Actually, it's a joy to know that I can take the gloves off and dig deeper into my scarred, fragmented, twisted psyche for material. However, just because the edits seem somewhat easy doesn't mean the work is going to go fast. A quick look reveals that I'm most likely going to need to cut the first four chapters and start fresh with a new, more dramatic opening. A subplot needs to be rewoven and pulled into the book earlier. There are some other tweaks that need to be made, but you don't want to hear all the gory details.

As for revision letters, they can run the gamut; from some minor tweaks to a major rewrite of the entire book. I like to tell myself that if it can go wrong, it eventually will. The editor can tell you to revise the entire plot, characters, how and when subplots appear, pacing, voice, setting description. You name it, and it can appear in your edit letter. And it most likely will. Sure, you can tell your editor that you think s/he is an idiot and that you're not going to make the changes. But then, I like having a job and in truth, my editor is smarter than me so I bow to her wisdom. So far, there hasn't been anything that I haven't agreed with.

That's not to say that I immediately agreed with everything I've been told in my edit letters. There have been a couple that I've had to sit on for a couple days before I could think clearly. Remember, your book is still your baby and someone is picking it apart. Egos get bruised. Confidence is shattered. Doubts creep in. It's all natural.

At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I think that one of the things that separates the professional writer from those who haven't made it yet, is being able to push aside those emotions and jump back into the book after it's been through the meat grinder. Because in the end, it's not about your feelings. It's all about the book.

5 comments:

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Jocelynn

I know it's your baby, I cringe when someone asks me to do an edit, because I don't want to hurt their feelings. I do it anyway, because I know fresh eyes can see what's missing or doesn't quite fit or sound right. I don't like it when someone does it to me, but in the end, it feels good to have it right.

Hang in there, your readers will support your efforts.

Dottie :)

Jessica Kennedy said...

I'm glad to hear you explain it like that. I don't think I could ever write a book and have it picked apart! It would scare me! :(

Can't wait to read book 3! :) I'm so excited! Would love a ARC if they are available! I new I'd get anxious because I read the ARC of Dayhunter. Serves me right! :(

Have a good time editing and I hope you recoup nicely! :)

lynn said...

I totally agree with sitting on feedback from editors/beta readers for a couple of days before making decisions on whether you agree with them. Distance always helps keep ego from getting in the way of improving the book. Good luck with the edits!

Anton Strout said...

I am going through this as of last Friday. You'd think three books into a series I'd have my sh*t together more, but basically I need to weave in more subplot and rewrite the last third of the book.

Feels daunting and certainly riddles me with self doubt, but I have to say it's good to hear its not just me!

Jocelynn said...

Thanks for all your support. And just because you've written a few books doesn't mean this job gets any easier. If anything, the next book should always be the most difficult thing you've ever written. You've always got to push yourself.