Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I got to have the fun phone call with my editor yesterday morning. You know, the one where she spends five minutes telling you everything she loves about the book and then twenty minutes telling you everything that's wrong? That one?

Seriously, I kind of groove on the revision process generally and am a little curious how this one is going to go. When I turned it in, I knew that there were some questionable transitions and probably more than a few logic issues, but I was very focused on getting it in on time as I had another book that I needed to get started on. As a result, I have not so much as glanced at this other manuscript since I turned it in nearly three months ago.

I generally hate what I've written as I'm writing it, but sometimes, when there's been some distance, I'll open up a book I wrote and haven't looked at for a while and I'll think . . . hey, that's not half bad! So here's hoping that when I open it up tomorrow or the next day (depending on when I get my editor's written notes) that I won't think it's a putrid pile of dog doo doo and will be pleasantly surprised.


Molly O'Keefe said...

OH do I know that phone call - I used to get a phone call and then a revision letter (I realize now, it's because if she was going to go over all the revisions she needed on the phone it would be a three day call, with vdeo conferencing required for graphs and charts) and the phone call was all I LOVE IT! and the revision letter was 24 pages long. Yes. 24 pages. I still hang up the phone thinking - wow, she really loved that book, and then I look at my notes and see all the "it just doesn't work" comments.

Good luck on the revising - I find the distance of a few months to be the most clarifying gift. I can see my editors notes and my problems clear as day - makes for a better revision that's for sure!!

Stephanie Doyle said...

Yeah I love that 3 month break, or six or seven month break... whatever.

And truly when I read it again - I would pick up many of the revisions.

Logic errors make sense suddenly. Vague pages I can see need to be clarified.

For me the worst is repition. Repition is the worst.

I pay so much attention to it now, but still I miss it until I see the edits with fresh eyes.

Eileen said...

Oh, Molly, I so know what you mean. This particular editor is all over the phone, though, so I have to hope I catch everything in my notes.

Steph, in my first book for Pocket, my editor suggested that I try to cut a few of the qualifying words I overused like "just" "only" "almost" and a few others. I did a search for them and ended up cutting over 1,000 words out of the manuscript. Repetition? Oh, she's definitely my enemy.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Yeah - those I leave in now when I'm writing. I don't try to fight it. Then I do a sweep at the end to get rid of them.

Just - big one for me. "So" also a big one.

And I probably eliminate 85% of "that".

Maureen McGowan said...

I'm sure the 3 months will have been a good thing, Eileen and it'll all fall into place.

My latest worst habit in terms of unnecessary words is my characters starting to do things instead of just doing them. i.e. She started to turn instead of she turned. No idea when I started (LOL) that one, but it was crazy how many times I did it in those books I wrote over the winter.

But repetition with me is usually about some physical response I've glommed on to.... And then the heroine feels it over and over and over. Usually a different one with each book.

Eileen said...

My characters tend to have crazy active eyebrows. They furrow them and raise them and crease them over and over and over. The rest of their bodies stay completely static.

Maybe I'll have them start to do stuff with brows.

Maureen McGowan said...

Eyebrows that shoot lasers! There's your next big idea, Eileen!

Karen W said...

I do both. The repetitive words and the character physical movements. They vary per book. For example, in one romantic suspense, the heroine kept shooting him looks. In another, she kept lifting her chin. Or he would sweep his hand through his hair or across his chin. They glare, they sigh, they shrug a lot too. And Steph can vouch in one book I used the word "angry" in all its variations many, many times.

Sinead M said...

He walked is everywhere in my books.. I never just assume they're anywhere..

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