Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Queen of the Rewrite

Once Again With Feeling . . .

So, I've finished my next book-- the first in a trilogy -- and now I'm rewriting it after I've had a writer friend/editor read it and tell me where I've gone off the rails. This is actually the fun part. I think writing is pretty darn difficult. I'm like Carrie Fisher, who once said she doesn't actually enjoy writing as much as she enjoys "having written." Yeah, I can understand that.

Don't get me wrong. It's not easy sitting beside your editor/writer/friend and hearing that she doesn't understand or particularly like my heroine. Nope. That's no fun. Or that she thinks my hero is "too girlie" in certain parts of the books. Ooops! You never want that to happen! But I know myself and I know that, while the initial consultation stings and sometimes cuts to the bone, if I give myself time to lick my wounds, I will agree with about 95 percent of what she's telling and showing me. I also know that this isn't easy for her either!

You might think that most editors have feelings coated with stainless steel, but I think you'd be wrong about that. Having known a few professional editors, I can remember how they agonized over having to call a writer to discuss a major rewrite or even a rejection. They weren't cackling as they rubbed their hands together in glee. They were dreading it and going over and over in their heads how they were going to handle it.

My friend has told me that it hurts her when I argue or challenge her during these sessions, so I try to keep my mouth shut. Later, I tell myself. Later, after you give yourself time to think instead of defending yourself and your writing. I know that I can be rational after I "sleep on it."

I'm deeply into the rewrite now and my friend/writer/editor told me yesterday that she's really enjoying the newest version and that she can hardly believe it was written by the same person. Oh! Okay! I'm the Rewrite Queen! All bow down and show me some respect!

Patting myself on the back, I coo to my writer's ego . . . "There, there. It's all better now, isn't it?"

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