Friday, April 28, 2006
The Long & Winding Road
They say life is a journey not a destination. So to is the mangled writing process. If you get to your destination (sell a book), it's because of the road that led you there. No one just walks out the door and sells a book to the editor perched on their patio. (Don't point it out if anyone does because it will just upset me.) They head out, get their map and get into the car. They take a few detours, get lost, circle around, stop for food or silly pictures with a roadside attraction... Somedays they fly down the interstate at 80 mph, some days they get stuck behind a big piece of farm equipment on a two lane country road where they can't pass. (Can you tell I live in a rural area?)
For me, it has been a long and occasionally frustrating drive filled with ups and downs, curves and the occasional dead end. I don't know that I will ever reach the big red X that symbolizes the big sale, but I know that I am much better prepared than I was when I left the house.
Today when I leave work, I'm mailing my revised partial out. I've spent the better part of two months sweating over every detail. Cutting, pasting, revising, elaborating...I'm surprised the story still makes sense after all the alterations I've made. I sent the revision out to the Playfriends for a reality check before it hits the mail. The verdict: MUCH better than the first one. WHEW - I hope the editor agrees! I know we all like to think that our first draft may be perfect, but there's always room for improvement. (If you don't think so, pull out an MS you wrote a couple years ago and see if you don't cringe.)
As I complete my revisions for the full request I hope will come, I know that I could not have written the book I have without the winding path I've taken. Hopefully my next journey will be that much shorter for the knowledge I gained on this trip. How about your journey? How has it made you a better writer?
PS - Don't forget to enter our March/April Contest to Win a Day at the Beach (almost!) There's Tim McGraw sand up for grabs here! If you entered our January/February contest, be sure to enter again!
Posted by Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants at 4/28/2006 12:13:00 AM