Thursday, May 31, 2012

Basically, dear readers, I'm still alive and so is the book. :-)

The top one is the big changes; the bottom one is the line-edit that makes sure the big changes make sense.
Looking at it this way makes me wonder why I write such long books.
The revision is in.

It went in Friday afternoon actually, and I crashed the way you crash after finals - sleep-deprived, mentally exhausted, and more pleased at completing the work than at the final product of your labors. This revision was tougher than usual. With that one big change I mentioned earlier, I think I ended up rewriting about 25% of the manuscript. Sometimes, I ripped out the best bits from the old scene and threaded new material around it to make it fit. Sometimes, it was completely new.

It was worth it, though. I really believe the book flows about a thousand times better this way. I'll know for sure after my new editor takes a look.

That's my other big news: I have a new editor!

Courtney Bongiolatti - the enthusiastic and astute editor, who acquired the books and ushered Of Giants and Ice into copy-editing and beyond - is leaving the industry. I was incredibly sad when I found out - Courtney loves the books SO much, and she just gets Rory; we've always been on the same page with revisions - it was hard to see her go. But at the same time, I'm absolutely delighted for her - glad she's starting this new phase of her life, and grateful she got Rory on the right track.

It also helps that my new editor - Julia Maguire - is similarly awesome. She worked with Courtney on Of Giants and Ice, and when I was too brain fried with my line edit to think of anything besides long lists of words, she and my agent Jo came up for a FANTASTIC title for The Ever Afters 2.

I'm actually not sure if I can share that title yet. Hmmmm. I'll need to check.

Julia has promised to get notes to me by Monday, so revising resumes next week!

Which means two things: First, I'm hurrying to get my To-Do list done before then. Yesterday, I cleaned my apartment with the ferocity of a tornado armed with a broom and lysol bathroom spray. Today, I need to race around to printers to get some quotes on Ever Afters swag.

And secondly, I'm devouring books at an insane rate in order to recharge my creative battery.

My current TBR pile

I need the mysteries, because there's a mystery element in The Ever Afters 2 that I'm not sure I totally pulled off. I finished Janet Evanovich's One for the Money last night and enjoyed it like whoa.

I try not to read in my own genre while I'm revising, so I'm SUPER excited about the middle grade. I feel like there's been a hole in my life without it. *hugs library books*

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Very Quick Announcement

Crunch time has arrived.

Stress hives have broken out.

My bedroom has been converted into an office.

I know what you're thinking:
Why is all my bedding folded up on the side table?
- Because I had to lean my air mattress up against the wall to fit a desk-like table in here.
My friends, the blogging hiatus has been made official!

See you after this revision is in...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Five - the Brain-Hurricane Edition

I don't believe I've mentioned this yet: my edit letter came! About a month ago, actually. It - and the one big revision it called for - have taken over half my life.

On her blog, Claire Legrand has expressed exactly what getting one's edit letter from one's editor feels like - give or take a little angst and one friendly unicorn. Seriously, if you haven't read this post yet, you NEED to. 

Go now. I'll wait. 

I'm moving one big piece in this manuscript. Doing that has caused a whole bunch of subplots to slide and conversations to collapse and chapters to require general untangling and/or rewriting. 

At this point, the initial panic has worn off. Brain-storming ensued, although word that doesn't quite capture the extent of all the thinking involved. It was more like a Brain-hurricane. My wonderful agent, her insightful assistant, and my fantastic editor have all weighed in on my plans. They also told me that I could handle this, and I remind myself of this frequently. 

I spent days crafting a glorious outline, which I refer to the same way I would refer to a road map on a long journey.  I'm still slowly working through it. 

Because of said outline, I'm not lost in this revision. But pages and pages stretch before me. Many of them must be rewritten. 

I won't lie: It is hard not to feel overwhelmed. It's also hard not to feel like my creative battery is drained all the way to the danger zone.

So, today, I'm entering the edits I've already finished into my digital copy. 

(I revise every round by hand, btw. It takes longer, but I catch more things.) 

I tend to watch most of my video content (a.k.a. movies and TV shows) while I work, and this is the entertainment-du-jour:

I was led to Pushing Daisies by Stephanie Perkin's recommendation and by a mild infatuation with Lee Pace. (It also helped that my local library had the DVD's ready for checkout.) I stayed because of the quirky-funny Jim Dale narration, the rapidfire dialogue, and Kristen Chenoweth's portrayal of Olive Snook and how she breaks into random song every few episodes

If you get a chance, watch and enjoy. Disclaimer: It may make you hungry for pie. Or piemakers. ;-)

In other revision-related news, I've read a lot of YA recently. 

(Q: How is this revision-related? 
A: I try to avoid middle grade when I'm actively working on my manuscript. 

Q: Why am I reading when I should be revising? 
A: Read this post.)

I am, for instance, newly obsessed with John Green. I'm reading all of his books in the order they were published, because I'm weird like that. 

Looking for Alaska made me weep and break out my Kindle highlighter for the first time. An Abundance of Katherines made swoon and geek out over math. Paper Towns is on deck.

Where Things Come Back also made me FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS. 

But the book I rushed out to buy on release day? The one that kept me up till 3AM two nights in a row? 

I've been waiting for Bitterblue ever since I read a galley of Fire back in 2009. It does not disappoint. Kristen Cashore has said multiple times that it was an intense book to write. It's an intense book to read - and near impossible to put down (see comment re: 3AM). If Where Things Come Back made me feel all the feelings, Bitterblue dredges up emotions I didn't know I had and makes me re-examine my life. In a good way, I think. 

I hope to finish it tonight. Preferably before midnight, so I get a good night's sleep.