Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Ri-ain een Spi-ain stiys mi-ainly ooon the pli-ain. The Ri-ain een Spain stiys mainly ooon the pli-ain. The Rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain. The Ri-ain een Spi-ain stiys.... ARGHGHGH!

Eliza here. Eliza Doo-lots that is. I spent two blissfully quiet hours this morning editing my MS. I have many more hours ahead of me. Whoo I'm having fun too. Am I demented? Don't most writers hate taking their "finished" work and making changes? Especially at someone else's behest? Not I, said the first little pig. I am having a grand time. Tells you a bit about the rest of my life, eh?

So today a rather boorish boyfriend got some manners and a nicer disposition. I'm thinking he'll stick around now instead of dumping my protag. This way he can give her fits and starts and kisses as another relationship gains potential. (Have I learned nothing from Ranger and Morelli, Mr. Big and every other guy in NYC?)

Lots of wordy detours got snipped away. Wow, is Kristin Nelson right when she talks about not falling in love with your writing to the point where it takes away from your story. Guilty as charged. I must have been in a fairly snarky, dark place when I wrote some parts of my book. Even I find them sharp. SuperAgent X points those spots out CLEARLY. I've softened some edges today. Changed a few words. Taken out some repetitious, whack the reader over the head stuff. My husband was out of work while I wrote the first draft. I can feel the ragged edges of my fears at that time in the MS. Today I can smooth them over easily.

I had done a good deal of this sort of editing already. But I was afraid of changing too much. Not sure why though. And I admit to ignoring some naggy areas hoping they'd miraculously go away. Call it newbie naivete.

This afternoon I popped into the library and gleaned a tidbit from a writing magazine in the 15 minutes I had to spare before picking up my 6 year old. "Goal. Conflict. Disaster." In every scene to move you along and ramp up the stakes. Keep the reader interested and turning pages.

Again. The Rain in Spain stays mainly on the pli-ain. Heck, I'll get there.


Holly Kennedy said...

Great post yesterday. Yes, there are agents out there who are human and ultimately enjoy conversing (and working) with others. Nice stuff to read...

Re: the editing. It's not easy, is it? I, too, struggle with staying true to the story vs. falling in love with the writing and losing perspective.

Anissa said...

I'm guilty of the same things. I had these scenes in the initial chapters that I loved. They made me laugh every time. But...they added nothing to the plot. I realized this after a batch of queries came back (form rejection on a partial request, boo hoo). So I chalked them up as character development and chop chop, they were toast.

Your manuscript sounds great. Can't wait to read it. (hint hint) If you ever want a critique partner or something, let me know.

Good luck with the edits. Sounds exciting as hell! I'm rooting for you.

hookedonafeeling said...

Today was one of those bad mailbox days. I always have a certain surge of anticipation when I can hear the low hum of the mailtruck motor outside my house, and the walk to the mailbox is often filled with anticipation and expectations. Imagine my chagrin to find nothing but junk mail awaiting me today. Not even a bill!! I wanted to call the mailman back for a do-over. Oh well.

Kim Stagliano said...

Dear hookedonafeeling. Didn't you know you have to chant oogachaka-ooga-ooga to get mail? Perhaps tomorrow will be more appealing to you??

Andrew said...

I think we're all guilty of those. I've been writing non-fiction for a while now, but I've got this novel manuscript that I'm afraid to take out and dust off for fear of what I'll find.

Edit onwards, and good luck!!

Andrew (To Love, Honor, and Dismay)

Anonymous said...

You know when Frist wanted the protection for Big Pharma reintroduced after being forced to back down over the Late night insertion of the "Eli Lilly Protection Act", into a massive spending bill. Something that got David Kirby looking into the thimerosal-autism link. Who did Frist turn to to re-introduce it in a more appropriate bill.
That would be Judd Gregg and it would be be S.3, 109th congress. How many of us made constatnt calls to stop that one. Yeah Gregg is just Bill Frist's and Big Pharma's stooge.
One good thing is that 4 of the 8 sponsors are no longer members of congress.