Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some revision-based musings

You know what I find fascinating?

A year ago (or so), I started quering Nor the Battle. So, it was only a little over a year ago that I finished revising it. I remember when I sent it out into the world, I felt so sure about how it read. I thought it was brilliant. I was confident (for the most part, post-midnight-panic attacks).

Today a funny thing happened.

For some reason, I went back and read the beginning of my manuscript for that. You know what I discovered?

It. Made. Me. Cringe.

What was I thinking, sending that rambly prologue into agents' inboxes for the last YEAR?!

I think it's amazing how my writing perspectives have changed in just a year. The opening felt so pedestrian to me all of a sudden. I didn't know how I could have written that and thought it was such a good opening. Maybe it's because I've had a rather long break from it. Maybe my writing style has changed in the last year and I didn't even notice. Whatever the case, something needed to be done.

So what did I do?

Right then and there, I revised it. Cut out the prologue entirely and fit what had once been in five (or more) pages down to two. Made it so the story starts with Chapter One, with just a bit of explanation as to what's going on in the alternate story (instead of the rambly prologue).

And then, feeling better about myself, I did something I wouldn't have done a year ago.

Right then and there, I sent out two queries. No questions. To some extent, I'd fixed that problem. Now time to test it.

Maybe it didn't make the most sense to send out two queries right away, but I've been digging at this manuscript for a year and a half now. I've revised it multiple times. The only thing I was ever truly if-y on was that prologue. And now that problem has been (I hope) solved. the last year...not only did my writing style apparently change, but I've also gotten more gutsy about sending out queries.

About time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things being read and things being written

Welcome to 2011! I have to say, I'm having a terrible time getting used to writing/typing 2011. I'm also having a terrible time NOT typing 12 for the month. Which is something of an issue, because I deal with dates nearly every second at my day job, so these last few days have been kind of tiring.

First of all, if you follow the Wo-Town Writers vlog, I said this week that if I feel like sharing what I am/was reading, then I would do that on here instead of in my videos. It was making them far too long and was starting to feel silly. So that's what I'm going to do here. Right now.

The book I'm reading currently is The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore. This is actually only the second book of his that I've read, the first being Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (so funny). I love how ridiculous Moore's stories are and this one is no exception. I'm only about a third of the way into it right now, though. The strange thing for me about reading Moore's novels is that it does take me a while. While I enjoy them thoroughly, they're not quite as enthralling to me as other things, so I tend to get distracted. They're funny stories, comedies, and the novels I can't put down are usually more along a serious line. Still great, though! I bought my copy of Lust Lizard on a whim at Half-Price Books, so the nice thing is I don't have to worry about returning it to the library in time.

Come to think of it, I bought my copy of Lamb at HPB too. Funny how those things work out.

The novel I just finished reading, however, is Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (bought, again, on a whim at HPB...what is it with me and HPB?!). Thank god this past weekend was a long one for me, otherwise I would have been even more tired than I already was over the last couple of days. There was something about this story that sucked me in and I just couldn't put this novel down. I don't know if I could put my finger on what it was. I just know I literally finished this book in one weekend...which is kind of a big deal for me anymore. While I spent the entire novel having a pretty good prediction as to what ordeal main character Annabel had suffered (and was, for the most part, correct), I was still riveted by her story. I loved the underlying plots regarding her and her sisters' relationships with each other, and of course her relationship with Owen. If you haven't read this book...highly recommend.

On a completely un-reading-related note, I'm slowly chipping away at my various projects. Call to Action is very slowly being revised. Its sequel is very slowly taking shape. I'm very slowly losing my mind. You know, the basics. I'm having a slightly more difficult time getting into Care's head for the sequel. Upon reflection, I think this might have to do with how upset she is at this particular moment--it's a certain level of upset that I've never really experienced personally. And her current situation is giving me a headache. New rules in the sequel, new culture of sorts. I'm having to figure out what has become her new every-day, which is exhausting. I might have to resort to index cards to plot this one out...and that's serious, because I don't outline usually.

In the meantime, my procrastination skills have gotten AMAZING.