Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Next Best Thing

For aspiring writers, nothing is better than The Call from an editor wanting to buy your book. However, a letter containing this comes close:

“We love your voice—it’s sparky, sexy, lively and contemporary and therefore perfect for the series. […] Overall, your manuscript showed huge potential and we feel you do have a voice that would suit the series.”

Join me in the Happy Dance! SQUEEEE!!!

Now, the three pages that follow the next sentence, “However, we also have a number of revision suggestions to make to help bring out the best in this manuscript and help it reach publication standard,” are kind of daunting, but, hey, four nice adjectives about my voice go a long way toward my attitude about revisions.

I’m not adverse to revisions. In fact, I knew something needed to be done to this manuscript; I just didn’t know what. I’ve learned a lot since writing this one, and I could see some of the problems, but the solutions were still beyond me. I now have three pages of what’s not working and why, and this beautiful editor even gave me some ideas how to fix it.

I love this editor. She’s my new favorite person. I think it’s too early in our relationship for me to send her flowers and chocolate without coming across as stalkerish, but I would if I could.

Ideas are sparking. Possibilities are swirling. At the workshop on Saturday, things kept popping in my head and I’d scramble to write them down. The major difference between this revision request and the last one is that this time, I’m excited about what I think I can do with it. The idea of gutting at least a third (and possibly half) of my book doesn’t bother me at all. I think I understand what this editor is saying in her letter, and, most importantly, I think I just might be able to do it.

I don’t suck. This book isn’t right, but at least it’s not totally wrong. It’s fixable. Beautiful Editor likes my voice and thinks the book has enough potential to take the time to type out a long letter. Wow. I have a voice. This doesn’t suck at all, people.

Happy, happy, joy, joy. In celebration of my non-suckiness and my “sparky, sexy, lively and contemporary” voice, I’m giving out prizes today. I don’t know what or how many yet, but let’s just say I’m feeling good and that bodes well for the prize patrol. Say something nice about yourself or others in the comment tail to enter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a happy Snoopy dance to do around my living room.



cas2ajs said...

Let me be the first to offer my congratulations. Those of us that visit here regularly already knew you had a great voice but it's always good to hear that from an editor, isn't it? Happy dancing with you!

Barbara Vey said...

Congratulations! What a great piece of mail to open. Bet you're still grinning...I would be.

Smarty Pants said...

That really was a great letter. Sigh...a really great letter. You should be psyched. And really, the following pages weren't horrible. You can totally do it.

Playground Monitor said...

It is a great letter, and as for all the parts you have to re-do, remember it WAS your first book and you've learned so much since then so the re-write will be a gazillion times better.

I'm doing the happy dance with you! Shall I wear my ballroom shoes? *g*


Rhonda Nelson said...

PC, congratulations!!!!!! Woot! I'm so tickled for you!

Angel said...

I'm so excited for you!!!! And I love Snoopy's happy dance, don't you?

What I liked about the editor's suggestions that followed was that they flowed naturally from the story you had given them. It wasn't something odd or off the wall that came out of nowhere. They are totally doable and I'm glad you are excited about this process.

Exciting news! The hubby suggested we celebrate Valentine's on Saturday by getting a sitter and using a restaurant gift certificate we got for Christmas. Date night!!!!


nascarandbeans said...

Congrats.. that is really exciting... love the snoopy dance..

Instigator said...

I'm so excited for you, PC! And the letter only says what we always knew was true - you have a wonderful voice!


Jen said...

I know you know this but ...make sure you keep that letter!! That's just fabulous!!

Mark said...

Congratulations, what an awesome letter. And to have some specific fixes mentioned rather than vague things like "make the characters seem more real" or "make it livelier" is a bounty, especially with the non-binding but implicit "we will buy this if you do these things"

Well done, can't wait for the "they bought it" entry.

Problem Child said...

Thanks everyone. Yep, I'm pretty stoked about the whole thing...even after I've had a few days to let it simmer, I'm still doing my happy dance.

And, Mark--I'm looking forward to that post too!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I think the letter is awesome, PC! That's the kind of letter to be excited about. :) My first book was (still is, I guess) an 800 page clunker. Getting a revision letter on your first is fabulous. :)

Lois said...

Wow-wee, congratulations!!!!!!!!!! That's soooooo incredible and huge!!! :)


Anonymous said...

love snoppy.
love all around
stop and smell the roses.

kim h

Carol said...

Congratulations! That's wonderful news!

Maureen said...

Congratulations! You're on your way!

tetewa said...

I'm also doing a happy dance for you, congrats!

misty wright said...

Congrats!! This letter is wonderful and makes you feel so good. Now get to work. :D I want the I SOLD post. :) So, I can scream and dance with you again.