Friday, February 26, 2010

Novel Revisions: Sending the Kid Off to School

I sent my firstborn away from home tonight. Her clothes were a bit rumpled because she was so worried about being late she flew out the door without ironing. And she's nervous about her teacher not liking her. And I'm worried about her out there all alone. My crit partner doesn't call me Rain Man for nothin'.

Yeah, I'm talking about the book. ROYAL STREET's first revisions=DONE, and it's gone back to my editor at Tor. I could've used another year to polish and tweak. Then again, I've polished and tweaked till I'm having flulike symptoms.

I have 17 hours of DVR'd drivel to watch, a big freelance job waiting in the wings, and two other novels in various stages of undress.

Life is good.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The home stretch

Rip Van Winkle wasn't sleeping all that time. The story has it wrong. He was hidden away in a cave, working on book revisions.

My first round of publisher's revisions is almost done, and I'm getting ready to send ROYAL STREET back to my editor at Tor Books and come out of my cave.

It has been a grueling three weeks, and I have lost all social skills. For everyone I've snapped at, ignored and otherwise pissed off....Sorry. Till next revisions roll around.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Life Cycle of a Novel


I'm really new at all this, but I'm seeing a pattern:

1. Write novel. Think it's really cool. Send it out.

2. Wait a month. Re-read novel. Realize it's completely and utterly stupid.

3. Publisher accepts novel. Re-read it and think, hey, it's not so bad.

4. Waiting for revision letter from publisher, re-read it and think: OMG, this is the stupidest thing ever written--when will they realize it and change their minds? Then revision letter comes outlining all the things you didn't do right. Feeling of complete and utter failure deepens.

5. Revisions begin. There's light in the darkness. It might be salvaged after all.

Well, you see the pattern here. It's like a flippin' roller coaster. Love it hate it love it hate it mildly like it detest it, etc etc etc. I'm told this pattern will continue through publication.

Back to work.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Plot Thickens . . . Literally

Revisions on Royal Street are literally underway. How would I describe it? "Walking in a vat of glue" comes to mind. Or Sisyphus, rolling his rock up the hill, only to have it squush (yep, that's a word--thanks, Larry) him on its way back down.

I knew the book's plot was too episodic, but when I first wrote it I was wallowing in a fit of Hurricane Katrina catharsis and feeling homesick for New Orleans. Now, time to put the personal angst aside, let my character DJ tell her story, and work with Stacy the Wonder Editor to get it all right.

It's kind of fun to break a novel down into its tiny parts, figure out what's working and what isn't, start stitching it back together again, and hoping it's not just one big-assed Humpty Dumpty.

From DJ's playlist: "I can saw a woman in two but you won't want to look in the box when I'm through."