Monday, September 29, 2008

In the revision cave

The housework is put on the back burner. The paperwork is piling up on my desk. I'm fairly certain weeds are staging a coup on my flowerbeds. Yep, I'm eyeball deep in revisions.

A couple of weeks ago, my editor for my young adult books sent me a 24-page revision letter. I wasn't as shocked by it this time as I was for my first YA novel, which had a 23-page revision letter. That's just how they work. I remember nearly hyperventilating when I got that first letter. While I didn't require a brown paper bag this time, it's still daunting to look at revisions of that magnitude, especially when they involve the structure of the story and certain characters' relationships with each other. The only way I can handle them is to take them in small chunks and to make several passes through the book to make sure I've addressed everything in the letter and that the story still hangs together well.

Right now, I'm still on the first pass, and that of course means that I'm feeling that the new version is complete and utter crap. I told a friend this, and she reminded me that I always say that. I took some comfort in that, but I won't rest until I finish to my satisfaction and meet my Oct. 20 deadline. There's still a lot of work to be done between now and then, and this during a time when I'm doing a lot of traveling to promote my debut release, A Firefighter in the Family, out this month from Harlequin American. But I worked long and hard for this dream to come true, so I'll find a way to get everything done that needs to be done by the date required. That's just part of being a published author.

So, it's back to the revision cave I go. I'll emerge again, blinking against the light, sometime around Oct. 20.

7 comments:

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Good luck with the revisions, Trish. Although I'm sure it will be hard work and skill that gives you a great story when you've finished.

Trish Milburn said...

I certainly hope so, Helen. Thanks.

Tami Brothers said...

Hey Trish,

I love that you let us in on this part of your writing life. It really gives us unpubbs an idea of what to look forward to in the next phase of our (hopeful) writing careers. Thanks a ton for bringing us along with you on your journey...

Love A Firefighter in the Family and I can't wait for your YA to come out, too.

See ya in a few days at the conference.

Tami

Evonne Wareham said...

Trish.
The dust and the weeds will wait for you. Trust me on this.
Fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly and you end on 20th with the satisfaction of a job well done.
Then you can go looking for dust.

Savanna Kougar said...

Trish, to be honest, you're more of a trooper than I am. Except everything gets put on major hold when I do revisions, shopping & cleaning, etc. I have two coming up. Fortunately one is just novella size.
But 24 pages, I hope most of it's just minor stuff. My gosh, I'd get eyeburn.
Sending you lots of good vibes!
Cool about traveling for promo. Wish I was up to that.

flchen1 said...

Hang in there, Trish! Keep on--you'll get to the other side of this soon, too! :)

Trish Milburn said...

Thanks, Tami. Looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the Georgia gals in a few days.

LOL, Evonne. Thanks. I know I'm going to go on a cleaning frenzy when these revisions are done because I hate not having time to clean.

Savanna, I wish they were minor edits too. Alas, many of them involve the structure and the progression of relationships, which require a lot of work to fix. But I went through this before on the first YA, and I think it's a very strong book now. My publisher is happy with it and seems to be giving me good backing for it, so that makes the work worth it.

flchen1, thanks! You're chasing me around the blogosphere today. :)