Posts Tagged ‘revisions

13
Feb
10

getting it right vs. getting it done

/* Special note! I just got my copy of Nora’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and it is awesome! The book is beautiful and the story is fantastic so far. If you aren’t reading it already, do yourself a favor and check it out! You won’t be sorry, promise! */

I just recently turned in edits for the second book in my series for Orbit. When I first got the manuscript back from my editor, I estimated it would take about 2 weeks to go through and get the book into publishable shape. Boy, was I wrong. The deeper I got into the text, the more I realized the text had problems. Nothing huge, but there were lots of small discrepancies, little matters of timing, congruency, and continuity that had to be adjusted. As I worked I was very aware of my approaching deadlines. I had a third book to get out, after all. I couldn’t afford to be sitting here nitpicking timelines on a book that was otherwise completely fine.

And yet… I couldn’t just be sloppy. This was my book. This was going to be purchased by my fans (I’d assume, since they would have had to have read the first book and liked it to care about the second), they deserved a good story, the best I could give them. So these two needs go back and forth, getting the book right vs. getting it done, finally coming to a head in a scene towards the end of the book.

First off, it was a pivotal scene for one of my favorite characters, one that I’d been thinking of for a long, long time. I could not afford for this scene to suck. I’d thought I’d gotten it good enough, but rereading it, I realized it wasn’t what it needed to be. And yet, it was just one scene, a thousand words, and I was so close to finished and pushing my deadlines already. So I sat there, going one way, then the other until, finally I gave in and rewrote the stupid thing. It took me 2 days to get it right. Two days! For a thousand words! But I got it right this time, or as close to right as I could get.

This constant tug-of-war between getting the book finished and getting it right is actually good for both book and writer. If it was all about getting it done, my books would be sloppy and dull. If it was all about getting it right, I’d never finish anything. Between the constant pulling I end up with a book that’s good, not perfect (let’s face it, there will always be things I’d wish I’d done differently), but good enough that I’m proud to put my name on it and delivered to the publisher in a timely fashion so people can actually read the sucker, because that’s what this is all about.

Now that I’m finished editing and the novel is turned in, I can sit back and revel in the feeling that I’ve written the best book I could have written. Not the best book I’ll ever write (because how depressing would that be? Peaking this early in my life), but a book that I’m proud of and that was delivered within the appropriate amount of time. I feel I’ve created something worth reading, and even if it isn’t perfect, I couldn’t be happier. This time I won on all fronts, I got it done and got it right, and that’s good enough for me.

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07
Jan
10

Seeing stars…

Hi All,

Tis my first post here. Thanks to The Originals for the invite! 

So, um, yeah, totally seeing stars today. Just completed revisions for the second book of my urban fantasy series and am having a bit of a meltdown. My eyes hurt. My ass hurts. My wrist hurts. And my brain hurts. And it’s kind of funny how the day I scheduled myself to post here is the same day I actually finished the revisions. (The *funny* part of that sentence was total sarcasm). Things seem to clump together like that all the time, even when I take the time to schedule stuff beforehand.

I thought it’d be interesting to list some stats, so here goes:

#of drafts written: four
#of times my heroine’s heart beat: 68  (yeah, totally had to fix that)
#of total words to begin with: 75,000
#of words in final revision: 89,000
#of chapters deleted: 1
#of chapters added: 3
#of hershey kisses eaten just today: 6

I also ate tator tots, but way more than six…  And, yes, this isn’t exactly a typical intro post, but did you read the part about ‘brain hurt’? It’s still spinning with All Things Revisions, so there ya go. You get stats. Stats are fun. 

Really glad to be a part of the Magic District, and among a group of totally awesome writers. Now I’m off to sit on the front porch, mutter and cackle at the neighbors in true demented-writer style, or maybe I should go have a drink… Decisions, decisions… 😀