Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Revisions, Revisions

I’m currently deep into the editorial revisions for Where Shadows Dance. My editor's comments and suggestions for this book are, as always, incredibly insightful and helpful. This rewrite is more extensive then usual, due largely I suspect to what was happening in my life while I was trying to write this book. I’m happy with the way things are going so far, but it’s taking a long time because there’s a lot involved.

To give you some insight into my creative process, I thought you might find this view of my scribbled-over manuscript interesting.



This particular spillage of ink (the different colors mean nothing except that every time I picked up the scene I seemed to have a different pen in my hand) was provoked by two short lines written by my editor at the end of the chapter: “Is Hero really so cool or is she hiding her attraction here? I feel a need for more personal tension between them in this scene.”

In order to satisfy that simple comment, I’ve torn the scene apart and switched the POV so that we now see the scene through Hero’s eyes rather than Sebastian’s. It’s an approach that has worked well, I think. And it’s always an interesting exercise to rewrite a scene from a different character’s point of view.

I’m probably going to be at this for several more weeks, which is frustrating because I’m itching to get started working on the next Sebastian novel, which will be number seven. I’ve never understood writers who say they’re sorry to see a book end. I’m always more than ready to move on the next story.

18 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm a visual person. I might look at all those markings and throw up my hands and go drink. Of course, I make almost all my revisions on the computer screen these days, so it may not look so bad even though it requires much rewriting.

liz fenwick said...

It's great to see someone else's pages as messy as mine :-)

Good luck with the revisions - may the go swiftly so you can move on.

lx

Steve Malley said...

A fair chunk of my own rewriting is making sure I've got the right POV in each scene. More than a few of my own revision pages end up looking like this...

And yeah, I'm always looking forward to the next book too! :)

Lainey said...

I'm itching to get Where Shadows Dance in my hands! Sending strong positive vibes that the revisions go quickly.

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Holy cow, woman! Here I was all concerned because my revisions and CEs were all marked up with my green pencil. (I'm switching to blue for the next book, just for something different.)

What's it like, rewriting an entire chapter from a different POV in third person? I've been writing in first person so long and for the YAs remaining strictly within a single POV for the entirety of the book, that I'm almost having a hard time imagining such an undertaking.

cs harris said...

Charles, I find my prose reads differently on screen that on paper, so I still do most of my revising the old fashioned way.

Liz, and the sad part is, this is a book that I thought was "finished"!

Steve, it's amazing how changing POV can change a scene.

Lainey, it's coming!

Barbara, one of the most interesting things I ever did was change an entire book from third to first person. It was amazing how much rewriting the shift required.

Anonymous said...

Oh no - definately don't want Hero to be cool. Show her emotions - I'm voting for passion!!!!! Yes, I know, I'm still a romance reader deep down inside ;-) Can't wait to see what happens. Sabena

Pax Deux said...

The editor thought Hero was too cool? Bah! Sebastian would have been able to see right through her. :)

Keira Soleore said...

I freely admit, the first thing I did was click on the image and try every which way to zoom into it. Even copied it and tried to blow it up in image software to see if I could read that page. Yes, I know, I'm pathetic in my eagerness for its finished arrival on my doorstep.

I do my thinking by writing by hand, especially if I'm horribly stuck. So that page looks beautiful to me: lots of creative brainstorming approach to finding the right solution.

cs harris said...

Sabena, I THINK you're going to like it.

Pax Deux, that was my thinking, but then I always favor the understated approach.

Keira, that's funny! And you had to contend with my hideous handwriting, too. I love to write by hand--easier on the back, and I find my creativity flows more smoothly.

Firefly said...

Well done Candy!!
Cannot wait to read the new book!! Far be it from me to tell you or, for that matter, even suggest Hero is the one for Sebastian. However, it would be so very nice if that were the case!!! Great to know that there will be a book 7!!!!

orannia said...

Keira - LOL! I must admit I was thinking along similar lines, but I didn't get any further than that!

Candy - all the best with the revisions. I can't wait to read the book (and YAH for a 7th book :) It's scary to realize how all the emotions that we think are all locked away sneak out and manifest when we're not looking.

cs harris said...

Firefly, I'm very anxious to get started on # 7.

Orannia, I'm hoping there will be a dozen or more. I already have the idea for #8, which will be set in September 1812.

NikiB said...

I am anxiously awaiting your next installment of the Sebastian St. Cyr novels.
I enjoy getting lost in his world and imagining what life would've been like, being governed over by such things as propriety and decorum. (Not saying I'm some type of immoral barbarian)
I can read these books over and over, as a matter of fact "Why Mermaids Sing" is on the nightstand beside me :)
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

So excited to hear there are more to come! I picked up the first one in March because I was caught up with Martha Grimes on her Richard Jury Series. I am now hopelessly obsessed with this series as well. I am on the fourth and just can't put them down. I was also very excited to find out that my new favorite author lives n my favorite city in all the U.S. I'm from Texas but I visit every chance I get!

M P Floyd said...

I just finished reading the Sebastian St. Cyr series for the 2nd time. I cannot believe how much I missed the first time. I love them and could not put them down.

Can't wait for the next one!

cs harris said...

NikiB, Thanks so much. You'll be happy to hear I've FINALLY finished the revisions.

Anon, so glad to hear you're enjoying them! Did you know I once lived in Wichita Falls?

M P Floyd, I have slipped lots of little hints in there that I suspect are more obvious on a reread. The next one is in the pipeline.

neurondoc said...

I just found your blog, though I've been reading the St. Cyr series since shortly after book 1 was published. The teasers are just that -- teasers that whet the appetite. Now I just have to control the hunger pains for a few (bunch) more months, and I'll get the chance to gulp down book 6. As a physician myself, I've been consistently fascinated with Gibson, so I am now even more looking forward to reading #6 (if possible).

Kudos to you for no medical bloomers that I've noticed. I've been a "pre-reader" for a couple of authors for medical mistakes, so I am especially picky. :-)