Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Madness in the Far North

I know why this is called March Madness. It is a month of dirty snowbanks, ice on the sidewalks and too much work!

Since my last posting, the snow has gone down a bit. We still have high snowbanks, but now they are brown with mud and road crud and sheened with ice. There is nothing pretty about them. The roads are still slick to drive on, and even walking - which I love to do - is treacherous. So, I am mostly at home and working furiously on revisions.

Revisions. Revisions. They are a part of what we do as writers of Love Inspired Suspense novels. Sometimes I think readers get the impression that we can write good, bang-on novels right out of the box, but it's seldom that way. As I write this, on the desk beside me is a notebook with my latest novel printed off, along with my editors suggestions. The first thing I did was to go through it cutting and pasting and making global changes to it. Now, I'm working through each chapter and rewriting it. It's becoming a whole new book. (And I thought it was pretty good to begin with!)

The revisions are tiring and long, but they are getting done. Each hour goes by and more is accomplished. I work six days a week, pretty steady. My mother said to me, "I never realized what went into writing a book. It's hard work, isn't it?"

"Yes," I replied. 'It's hard work."

I tend to be a bit old-fashioned in my way of working. I write a lot by long hand. I tend to print off my work, and then make corrections with colored gel pens. I think the colors are so that I won't get bored! I like writing in pink.

So - that it my March Madness - which includes cabin fever, and writing and doing laundry and drinking cups of tea.


Sandee61 said...

Hi Linda...I so enjoy your books, and have most of them except for a couple. I enjoyed your post!

Sandy G.

Vince said...

Hi Linda:

I read a lot about revisions. I have a few questions you might be able to answer.

1) what percentage of revisions are ‘author induced’, that is, your idea after the book was submitted.

2) what percentage of revisions do you feel are really necessary? For example, if the book you submitted, which was pretty good, was compared by readers to the book after revisions,do you think the readers would really prefer one over the other by a meaningful margin?

3) do you ever get the feeling that editors suggest marginal revisions to show they are working? (I used to be a copy editor.)

I would be very interested in hearing form any other writers as well.


Margaret Daley said...

I always do a read through with a hard copy and write on it then go and add it to my copy on the computer.

Vince, that would be a hard question to answer (#2) because we don't know how the reader would receive the book in its original edition.
Most of my revisions aren't author generate. I think it is good to get a cold read by my editor. After reading my story over and over, I can't do that. An editor can see something I'm too close to see.