Thursday, May 25, 2006

Revisions a-go-go!

So I spoke to my editor yesterday, and hooray, she liked MY LORD'S DESIRE. I confess I was having a few moment's of doubt after getting emails that said (a) she'd read it and (b) she'd be calling with some revision suggestions. Nothing about the story, or if it was good, or anything. I tried not to panic, but let's face it, what I really hoped for was "I loved it! It's wonderful! You don't have to change a word!" Or "I liked it! I have a few suggestions, though."

Fortunately, she did like it and she was impressed with the "mystery" aspects of the plot. This was extra good to hear because I'd made a conscious effort to "beef up" the plot activity in this book. As I've said before, and will surely say again, I don't pay attention to all the reviews or criticism of my work -- I couldn't, because it can be contradictory and basically drive you nuts. However, the Publishers Weekly review that called my last book "touching but predicable" had me thinking about plot. (What the reviewer surely didn't know was that I was extremely thrilled by "touching," because I'd been working really hard to make my stories more emotional.) Now the trick is to keep the emotion while also making the plot less "predicable" -- something with more twists and turns. It sounds like I've succeeded.

But there is more work to be done. Alas, it seems I cut out too much of the heroine's backstory; I was worried I'd be giving her too much "baggage" and instead, didn't give her enough, so she seems less "deep" than the hero (who my editor quite liked -- yeah!). I also need to do a little revising of the love scenes. Not the scenes themselves per se, but where they are in the story.

I know some writers get very tense about revising their work, but not me. I'm glad to have a fresh perspective and a chance to revise. That's when my editor is invaluable. I'm sure she's doing lots of other necessary things with regards to my books and my career when she's in the office, but this is the one that's most obvious and important to me; as far as I'm concerned, this is where she really earns her salary.

But that's not all the revising I'm doing these days. I also "revised" my weeping mulberry this afternoon. If ever a tree needed pruning...! I've also gotten one of my molar's "revised" -- a chunk broke off it over the weekend.

And last but not least, I'm revising the synopsis for the next book, THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT. It's due next week. So far, the synopsis is about 18 pages -- just about right, I think. I've got the main conflicts, the main secondary characters and the subplots. I think it's "good to go," but of course, the final say is up to my editor. If she has questions or comments that lead to changes, fine by me!

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