Monday, August 13, 2007

Taking A Breather

Whew! Time to take a deep breath and relax.

The first edits for You Belong to Me are now safely in the hands of my editor. It's so stressful, doing edits, no matter how I try not to let it stress me. But when you go from writing at your own leisure, to having (gasp!) deadlines, I think it's unavoidable.

When I wrote the first draft, there was some stress. I had research to do, characters to flesh out, and a plot to develop. Okay, that's not so bad, but I still breathed that sigh when I typed The End on the bottom of the last page.

From there, it was look up what else I needed to know, and go back to look for plot holes, flat characterization, slow pacing. I rewrote this, changed that, cut this out completely, put this scene here and that scene there. The first draft was a mess of red lines, notes, and arrows and it took almost as long to rewrite as it did to write in the first place.

With each successive draft (I believe there were six drafts altogether - which is about my average) the stress lessens. The urge to throw the manuscript across the room because I'm so sick of dealing with those people is overwhelming, but the stress is minimal.

Then comes a synopsis. Ugh. I'd rather write the entire book than a four page synopsis. And Query letters. Double-ugh. Don't even get me started on those.

Then I submit and the stress zooms up. I stalk my mailman, even though I sent the queries out yesterday. Hey, you never know, right? Lucky for me, my mailman's cool and realizes he's not really in all that much danger.

Then you get the request for a partial. Happy dance. Polish up those first three chapters (makes sure you got all of the typos. Once, I sent something to an editor and, when I was looking over the computer file, I realized there were about eight glaring errors - oops... needless to say, that one received a polite no. Which was for the best, really - I put it aside for a loooong time and when I unearthed it, I cringed. It was that bad - but I digress). Out the door they go.

Stress levels ratchet up a bit more.

When they're about to peak, I realize there's an email in my inbox from my editor. How the heck did I miss it? It's funny, but then the stress zooms again as I open the email.

Request for a full.

Joy. Horror.

Joy because someone wants it - horror because I could still get a dreaded rejection.

So, I try to doublecheck as fast as I can because, hey, somebody wants this and I don't want them thinking it's not finished because it's taken me a month to get it in. So, a spellcheck, a grammar check, and off it goes.

By now I've made everyone around me crazy.

But then....


The happy dance. The shouts of "yay!".

The deadlines.

It's madness. It really is. So, now that the first round of madness is behind me, I'm going to take a deep breath and sloooowly let it out. Besides, this is only a temporary lull.

I have another submission out there.

God help me.

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