Life has gotten in the way, and every spare moment I’ve had has been spent on this manuscript that is due June 1st. It’s really a race to the end, and I’m so behind on my own schedule. I’ll be honest, this has taken me by surprise. A month ago, I really thought I was nearing the end on this one. Really. So what went wrong? There were things in it that just didn’t ‘feel’ right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I just kept on writing…
But those words that didn’t feel right didn’t magically right themselves…So what did I do? Chucked half the blasted book and re-wrote it! Ugh.
Now that I really am nearing the end, I like it so much better. This was a manuscript that I wrote a few years ago. And even though I haven’t really changed the characters, my writing has changed so much that I just felt I couldn’t really keep any of the old stuff, even though I had tweaked and strengthened the conflict. I needed new words. I needed it to be in the voice that I’ve finally discovered is my ‘true’ voice.
So this week I’ll be racing toward the finish line, and hopefully next week be operating at a more normal pace…
Finally it seems that today, routine is starting again.
DS is back in school finally! He had 2 weeks off for Spring Break, went back to school and got sick after only three days-so was home again for 2 days, then I got his cold, then it was the short Easter week…
I’ve just submitted the partial to my agent as well as the synopsis and I’m continuing to plug away at the rest of the book. I’m hoping to have it done in 3 weeks. It’s a re-write, so if I really push, and no one gets sick, I should get it done.
The book I’m re-writing is about second chances and starting over.
My heroine has issues with trust. She comes back to her hometown temporarily (hehe, little does she know what I have planned for her) and to her childhood home. It’s a big old Victorian house that needs to be restored. But while she’s there, she’s forced to confront her feelings for the man she could never truly forget, and because of that, could never truly move on. They’re both a lot older and a lot wiser…except for the fact that they’re about to embark on a renovation together-really how wise can they be? She’s an interior designer and he’s a builder. This should be fun.
Well, we’re back from our little getaway and as much as it was nice to have a change of scenery, I’m happy to be home.
For some reason, neither of my kids seem to do well with change. Last week, sleep schedules were completely off, DD woke up a minimum of three times a night and skipped her nap at least twice. My attempts at writing in the bakery/coffee shop weren’t as successful as I’d hoped and I spent most of my time watching DS charm the locals. He is so friendly and in typical small-town fashion, everyone stopped to talk to us. DS was delighted by this, and was quick to offer some of his “artwork” to interested patrons. And there is now a delightful picture of “Lightning McQueen” hanging in the bakery-only after DS made the owner of the bakery agree that it had to stay on the wall forever.
Now we’re home and back to a somewhat normal routine, though DS still has this week off school. We have some fun day trips planned and working during the day will be tricky, but I’m counting on my evenings again. Oh, BTW, my morning routine got scrapped once DS got wind of me waking early and repeatedly woke up to keep me company. So back to evenings…
By the end of this week, I need to “commit” to the partial I’ve written, as well as the synopsis, and send it off…
So last week, I plunged into revising my first book in a connected series. The second book is finished and sent to my agent. But the first book in this series had been written 2 years ago so it needs some serious TLC. I’m still cringing at some of the things I’m finding in this manuscript LOL…
But, the good news is that progress is being made. I’m still challenged time-wise, but I’m making the most of any free time I’m given. Every Monday DS has a sports class that he goes to after school for one hour. Usually, I pick him up from school, bring him home to change, he eats his snacks in the car, and then DD and I drop him off. Then DD and I go and walk around the mall for 45 minutes, and then go back and pick him up. BUT, last week, DD decided to keep sleeping and since DH was home…I left her sleeping.
BLISS. So what did I do with a whole 45 minutes to myself?
Drove to the nearest Timmy’s (hey, it’s Roll up the Rim, remember?) and then drove back to the ugly parking lot outside his sports class and pulled out a notepad and pen, and did an outline for the current book in the car. I was able to jot down some scenes I wanted to add, some funny dialogue, and drink my coffee…in peace.
So it wasn’t a pretty little coffee shop, but it got the job done!
That’s what it feels like I’m doing right now as I go through and re-write this manuscript.
It feels like I’m coming home to the little town I created a few years ago, the house that’s about to be re-modeled, the secondary cast of characters that still make me laugh…and my hero and heroine. I still love all of them…but I need to spruce them up a little. I can see everything that I want to change…both characters have some heavy baggage and they have a history together0-I’m trying to figure out a way to make them not depressing…and yet acknowledge the pain that they still have.
I love this couple together. It’s strange because they are very different than the couple in the manuscript that I just submitted. And maybe that’s part of the reason it’s taking me a while to figure them out again. My last hero and heroine, Jake and Claire were always very vocal, very loud, with either love or hate…These two are more subtle, almost afraid to make their feelings known and I want to make sure that they don’t come across as boring…
Well, I better get to writing before it’s time for DS to get home from school
I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully by tomorrow chapters 1-3 will be ready to go.
So, I’m working on the manuscript that I’m determined to revise.
I’ve set out to deepen the conflict. I know what needs to be done, and I know how I’m going to accomplish it, so that’s good. But it’s going to require some ruthless editing. Like cutting large chunks of dialogue that I still like but know aren’t going to move the plot forward, changing around some back story, and deleting some great scenes.
Even though I know it has to be done, it’s still painful. But then I remind myself that those words aren’t sacred. That a rejection is a heck of a lot more painful than deleting words…so I’ll cut and then I’ll paste them into another document filled with cut scenes from this book. That always helps. It doesn’t feel as bad knowing those words are somewhere.
So, that’s what I’m up to for the next couple of weeks.
Has this ever happened to you? As I continue on my road to publication I’m finding out more and more about my process-I’m not entirely a plotter nor a panster. I’m a bit in between. Something I’ve also started doing is writing scenes as they pop into my imagination-I’m doing this because many times I’ve jotted down the idea only to come back to it with the ‘mood’ gone. So, I’m trying to seize the moment, the emotion, the feeling of writing a scene as it comes to me (when possible of course. I mean if I’m with the kids it’s not really possible to drop everything and go write.)
Now the problem I’ve run into on this manuscript is that I’ve done this for almost the entire manuscript (except the first, polished, 3 chapters which I had sent to my agent.) So now, I’m finding my manuscript is a lot like poor old Humpty Dumpty…all these pieces and I’m having a really hard time figuring out how I’m going to put them back together.
I’ve got a lot of cutting and pasting to do, a lot of tying-together scenes, before I can really get back into the word count game on this manuscript. Wish me luck!