Monday, January 24, 2011

Final Revision?

Part 4 of: From Blank Screen to Printed Book OR Writing the Book was the Fun Part...

With a lot of often painful revising and cutting, I reduced the 150,000 word first draft of my book into a tight and nimble 73,000 word manuscript. I felt great about the end result and couldn't imagine Suzanne - my editor - would feel the need to do more than a few minor tweaks. Wrong. Apparently, publishers won't look at a memoir that rises over the 70,000 word mark. Who knew the creative process was, in reality, a numbers game?

Suzanne spent a few weeks reviewing my 73,000 words and then sent them back. The pages on which they lay, now covered with penciled arrows and slashes. I will admit, my first reaction was anger. It was PERFECT! I took some time for my initial defensive flare to cool, then went through the pages slowly and ended up incorporating about 60% of the changes she made. Although I couldn't bring myself to agree with all she thought should be done, her suggestions made me look at the content with new eyes and pushed me to do some rewriting that I wouldn't have done otherwise. In other words, once again, she pushed me to be better.  

I loved writing my book. I really loved the process of sitting down at my computer, tapping on the keys and watching the words fill up the screen. I even loved the revision process, as painful as it sometimes was, because I was learning, growing. I was about to be introduced to the business side of writing a book. The love fest was over.

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. I admire your stick-to-it-iveness, Lindsay. That word probably needs editing!