Where’ve I Been?

Hello again! I’m baaaack! I plead guilty to having violated Rule 1 in the Blogging Bible: Thou shalt not wait more than two weeks between posts, else thy followers will forget about thee. But see, the so-called blogging experts don’t understand or appreciate the blind fanaticism of my legions of rabid followers. 😉 They will wait till I have something to share; between times they will amuse themselves some other way: maybe YouTube videos, maybe…Heaven forbid…a book.

I believe the rush to post on social media is mostly a generational thing. I don’t see something interesting and think, “Gee, I’d better post this to SnapChat!” Anyway, I let some time go by since my last post. But you’re still here, so it’s all good.

Anyway, in early September I received another manuscript critique from my editor. She liked a lot of it but had some suggestions for improvement with which I agreed. So I took a break from writing the sequel to make changes to the manuscript for Beautiful. I liked it before, and I’m even more proud of it now. I’m not sure how many iterations I’ll make with my editor. Yesterday, I read an interview with Markus Zusak, author of several books including The Book Thief and his newest, Bridge of Clay. He said he never feels his books are quite done, that he can always find something to change or improve, but that at some point an author has to “go with it.” I don’t have the experience to know where that point is, but I think I’m ready to find an agent. If the agent wants changes, we can talk about them. My editor, Julia, has been excellent about explaining her thinking rather than saying “Do this!” with no thought process from which I can learn. I’ve been willing to “kill my darlings,” referring to parts that I thought were cool but Julia felt did not add to the story.

It’s not always comfortable to submit one’s ego to an experienced editor, but damn does it make one’s writing stronger. There were two or three scenes in Beautiful that I didn’t love, but I couldn’t quite put a finger on what was missing. My editor said she’d like to see more emotion in this scene and that scene. I think about how to do that, I rewrite the scenes, and I love them; they’re stronger, more realistic, and if I have to fight back tears then maybe another reader will too.

A beta reader is reviewing my manuscript now, to make sure I didn’t confuse things with the recent rewrite. Then I’ll discuss next steps with Julia.