I’m coming up for air! I’ve missed blogging, but for the past couple of weeks I have been focused on the editorial letter I received from my publisher, and my impending revision of The Frame Game. After three passes through the manuscript and thirty pages of brainstorming and scrawled notes, the revision process is beginning to feel slightly less daunting. Slightly. Tomorrow I’ll be in New York, and I’ll actually get to meet with my team at Viking and discuss some ideas in person.
Cutting is the big issue. As I prepare for my flight tomorrow morning, I realize my manuscript — bursting with hot pink post-it notes, scrawled comments, and little sticky tags — takes up most of my bag. I may actually have to buy it a seat. I may have to declare it at security as potentially hazardous material. I now completely accept that this manuscript is too unwieldy and needs to shed some weight.
When I first got the editorial letter, I was slightly paralyzed. But I spent a lot of time with the manuscript, trying to see it through my editors’ eyes, and giving serious consideration to all of their suggestions and concerns. I broke through my initial paralysis by having the voice of my main character respond, in writing, to each of their points. While no one will ever see those notes, this helped me get back into my character’s mindset and voice, and to think about which suggestions felt natural to implement and which felt more difficult. It also helped to remove me, the author, from the equation, in a sense. The comments and responses became about the book, not me.
Now I’m mostly feeling energized and excited. I’m planning to hit the desk first thing Monday morning, to start revising in earnest, and to take this novel to the next level. I’m so thrilled to have a supportive team who want the best for the book! Revising with coaches, and cheerleaders in the grandstands, feels like a whole different game now. Revising with a visible endpoint this time — publication, instead of endless uncertainty — is incredibly motivating.