Revision Hell and Fantasy Island

Well, the kids are back from summer camp. Figuratively speaking, of course. The “kids” to which I refer are the copies of my manuscript that I sent out to my first readers.

Frankly, I got darned little done while they were away. But isn’t that always the case?

Anyway, I’m back to work on my “final” draft. Or at least, the final one before sending it off to my agent. I hope to see it again when an editor requests changes before publishing it. Just as I still hope to get a chance to make some changes to the manuscript of HORSE OF A DIFFERENT KILLER at some point.

But for now, I’m firmly ensconced in Revision Hell. As I go through the notes which my wonderful first readers have made on the pages of the manuscript, I see there is considerable work to be done on the beginning. And the ending. And the middle. So much for my pipedream of adding a line or two here and there. Nope. It goes much deeper than that.

If there is good news, it’s that the plot has been deemed sound. It’s the relationship between characters that needs to be redefined. In some cases, it means adding some backstory. (Most people put in too MUCH backstory. I haven’t included enough.) In other cases, it means being a little less subtle. I need to show why my protagonist acts and feels the way she does toward the people around her. Sometimes trying to be complex and subtle is downright HARD.

At the same time that I’m struggling with revisions, part of my brain has latched onto the good comments that have been made. Such as this one is better than the last one. And the last one earned me an agent. So my brain clings to the hope that THIS manuscript might just be the one to land me a publishing contract.

And my brain, doing what brains do, keeps spinning out other dreams.

I hope to do a little traveling to conferences next year. Such as the Romantic Times Convention that will be held here in Pittsburgh next spring. Such as Bouchercon which will be held in Baltimore next fall. Baltimore may not be a skip and a jump down the road, but compared to Alaska, where it’s being held THIS year, Baltimore is right next door. I also fantasize about going back to Malice Domestic next year. But I keep telling myself that I need to have a book coming out to promote in order to rationalize the expense. Therefore, my brain is visiting its own private Fantasy Island on which I get to attend all these conferences to spread the word on my upcoming mystery novel.

Ah, wouldn’t that be lovely?

But none of it will happen if I don’t get back to work on those revisions and make this story the best that I can. Fantasy Island will have to wait. For now, it’s Revision Hell.


Kristine said…
Annette, I have all the faith in the world you'll sail through these revisions.

Good luck! I'm here if you need me.
Joyce said…
I read through the first 7 chapters of mine yesterday. I have a Post-it note on just about every page, plus at least a page of notes on each chapter of things I need to fix.

I'm having fun anyway!
Quinella Queen said…
Annette, Thanks so much for the news that Romantic Times convention will be in Pittsburgh next year. How did I miss that?

Anyway, if you need inspiration to face those darned revisions, there's a reader in Pittsburgh anxiously awaiting a racetrack murder!
Zia said…
Keep up the good work.

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