revising

Do The Lambs Still Scream, Clarice?

I turned my novel into an editor on Friday.

I tried to find a photo that would convey shear terror and elation at the same time. Like a girl, mouth wide open with a scream, covered in blood, but also in a tutu, twirling and dancing.

Couldn’t find it.

On one hand, the tremendous work of revising and editing just to get it ready for this stage is finally OVER. I’m free now to catch up on what I had let go. Turns out the shit hits the fan around here without me. It took me ALL WEEKEND to catch up on Mount Laundry, the frat house my upstairs had become, dishes, bathrooms….UGH. And the house being up to par only frees me up for the endless list of other things I need to catch up on: that oil change, and those bills with their pesky due dates. But now I can tackle it; that’s the good news.

On the other hand, every time I remember there’s someone reading my novel I want to spit up a little. Yes, people have read it before, but they weren’t professionals, whose aim it is to find problems.

What if she hates it?

What if she tells me it’s shit?

What if it comes back so riddled in red marks I’ll never see my way out of it?

What if she doesn’t love my characters like I do?

will this excruciating fear ever end?

I wonder if authors always feel this way, or do you finally get to a point of confidence in your work? Does Stephen King write The End and think I just shit gold!

I try, I try to quell the scary thoughts and replace them with positive ones: What if she loves it? What if she has great suggestions I can’t wait to implement? What if everything’s going to be just fine did you ever consider that you masochistic nut-job?

Last night I was on the computer. My husband came in and – seeing the expression on my face – asked if I was looking at a murder scene.

Kinda. I was on a website about formatting your novel for ebook. *gulp* Seems really overwhelming. I had to take a few deep breaths and remember the words I’ve been telling myself during this whole journey — the same ones I told myself in an earlier post, Hold My Hand Until I Can Fake It , Please : I need to just take things in baby steps, and know that there are amazing, supportive communities of writers out there to help me through these processes.

I just need to reach out and ask for it. Breathe in, Breathe out.

children-holding-hands-26131189

Writers/Authors: Do you still die inside when others are editing your work? What is the best advice you could give me on self-pubbing? Or the best place you would send me for resources?

Anyone: To show you how much I appreciate you reading all the way to this point, I give you this. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

Oh, Look…A Squirrel…

That title pretty much sums up how my brain works when I blog. I start off with one simple task, and before I know it, it’s been nine hours. I realized the other day I’ve gotten way off course from what should be my main job right now, but in the process, you know what I’ve discovered?

I Freaking Love Blogging!

I started blogging a few months ago, and to be honest, I thought it was going to be a writer’s blog about the process of editing/publishing my novel with some other random stuff thrown in to mix it up. But I guess that’s not what organically birthed out my blog hole. (That was hands-down the grossest metaphor I’ve ever used. It’s so bad I feel compelled to leave it.) The blog has ended up the other way around, really. I like to write like I talk. I like to laugh. That’s what feels honest.

This is my voice.

The problem is I have a manuscript here. It’s waiting patiently to have its revising finished, or better yet, to be effing published. I have editors that don’t even know they’re on my list to be called upon for pricing and samples. This novel is my everything.

So why am I spending all my time blogging? Because I’m in overload. I’ve read so much information about editing, blurbs, the first 5 pages, what you should do, what you should never do, genres and sub-genres, do a prologue, never do a prologue, AHHHHHH!

I’m kind of a study-junkie. A perfectionist. I take advice very literal and to heart. I’m thirsty to learn from the people who’ve done it before me. But it’s all been too much, and has literally paralyzed me from moving forward.

So I’ve been falling back on my new love, blogging, which conveniently takes up all my time, and has become a great excuse to avoid something else, something far too overwhelming.

 Enter the *Writer Whisperer*

This is what I’ve dubbed a friend of mine, unbeknownst to her (until now), who I had lunch with her the other day. She basically said, what the fuck have you been doing and why isn’t this brilliant book published yet? (She actually used the word brilliant, just so you know. Ironically, this is the same woman who told me to start a blog.) But you know what? She was right. After talking to her, the weight lifted off my shoulders.

I have 5 beta readers who already told me any integral changes I needed to make. I have to STOP obsessing over it. My novel is written. And it’s good. I just need to clean it up and get it to a pro editor. Let them figure out the rest.

That’s precisely what I’ll be spending more time doing for the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck. I’ll need it.

*Oh, and the last post I wrote about the Fall premiers? Come talk to me in comments as you watch during the week. Let me know what you’re liking/not liking!  (On The Voice…did you see my ex-almost-fiancé’s sexy beard? Me Likey! #TeamAdam)* —that “Oh, Look…A Squirrel…” moment was brought to you by Beth Teliho, the most easily distracted writer on Earth. Maybe don’t write her about TV. Yes, do!

Did you always know your blog’s voice? Does blogging take up more time than you expected? Is it your first love or do you write other things, too? I love hearing from you!

Dream Team

??????????????????????????????????????

I’m a recovering introverted writer. Or trying to be. (see previous post). One of the first, and most important, movements towards this was getting Beta Readers to review the novel I just finished. I had worked on it for the better part of two years and was sitting with a finished manuscript. I knew it was time for someone to look at it and that terrified me. I had horrible visions of my best friend letting it flop in her lap with an eye roll, telling her husband, “this is awful.” I know, that’s self-defeating and negative, but it’s my nature.

The mere possibility that this thing I had spent two years on – this thing that I adored doing more than anything – could be a complete waste of time was unbearable. More than I could risk. I was paralyzed.

THANK GOD FOR NANOWRIMO

Right about the time I finished the novel, Nano was sending out links advertising a webinar featuring the Book Doctors (the genius Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry) who were going to speak about the process of editing. I signed up immediately, knowing that I was about to be knee-deep in this process. I learned a shit-load from that webinar, but perhaps the most important tidbit of knowledge for me was the importance of having others read your work. if you don’t have other people reading your work, it might as well be sitting in a drawer. That resonated with me, big time.

Not just one person reading your work – no – several people: A Dream Team.
*Cue lightening bolt*

I want this novel to work. I believe in this novel. IT WILL HAPPEN. I put on my bravest warrior priestess armor, chose a Dream Team of 5, and handed out my manuscript.

In my last post I said that the scariest things I face almost always turn out to be the most rewarding. DAMN STRAIGHT!

The feedback has been like a four-chair turnaround on The Voice! The validation filled my little writer’s soul and – on one occasion – literally brought me to tears. In addition, I received smart, insightful editing feedback. My Dream Team is the Shizzle Dizzle.

As for now, I’m revising based on the feedback I’ve received thus far while I wait for everyone to finish.
…And…*bites knuckles*… I’m shopping professional editors. *lightening bolt/crash of thunder*