Rewrites and Realizations

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When I woke up this past Saturday, I had no idea that an hour later I’d be scrambling to rewrite my novel’s opening. Ahh, how young and innocent I was then…

Fresh in my inbox that morning was a rejection from an agent, but it was no ordinary rejection. It told me WHY. Whyyy! O blessed “why!” Those of you in the querying trenches know how rare that is.

Sadly, his reason confirmed something I’d already been nervous about… Continue reading

Tacka tacka tacka tacka tacka tacka

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That’s the sound of one writer editing furiously.

You may recall this kaPOWerful post from early July, declaring my mission to finish my bulky edits by the time we leave for French Polynesia. By “bulky” I meant the rewrites, the new scenes, the untangling of plot-snarls, chunky stuff like that. Scary stuff like that… Before setting my goal, I had my list of must-edits locked in a cupboard while I cowered under a table.

What was I so scared of? I thought the scope of my revisions would be too daunting to summit, that I’d realize the book was one giant mess that I could never fix. But I reminded myself that big tasks are completed one small step at a time. I also realized that by stewing in my anxiety, I was making my anxiety last longer, so if I wanted to remove that anxiety I’d have to start editing.

I’m happy to say it’s been much less painful that expected!! I’m still in the midst of it, but here was my process:

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Gonna karate chop these edits into completion!

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To celebrate our 5-year anniversary in a few months, my boyfriend Craig and I are traveling to French Polynesia. Yesterday was a very badass-feeling day of scheduling. Flights booked – kapow! Hotel booked – kapow!

And amidst all that, somehow I ended up with a deadline for completing my book’s revisions. Extra-kapow!

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I call it… “Le Rejection”

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I wish my rejections came in old-fashioned letter form, like in the good ol’ days, so I could make a papier mache sculpture representing my despair. Working with my hands always makes me feel better.

Haha, it’s okay, I’m not actually despairing right now, but I have my moments. I know how the publishing industry works, how long it takes even for the most talented writers, that even J.K. Rowling got rejections up to her eyeballs. I know all that, but I still wake up sometimes with a weight on my chest and think, “It’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen.”

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More rules you can occasionally break

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Last week I talked about how you don’t have to write every day, and before that, how you can write slow if you want. Let’s rebel against some more rules! (Occasionally.)

Eugh… “Rules.” Just the word makes me think of similarly off-putting things, like peas or gym class or t-shirt armpits yellowed by old sweat stains. I prefer the more pleasing word “guidelines.” Ahh, that’s better – like a cheerful garden path leading you towards better writing. Or that wise old word “advice,” with its wizard beard and smell of vintage paper. And let’s not forget that perky lil word, “tips!”

Rules are smart, but no rule/guideline/advice/tip is an ironclad absolute.

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