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. 

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