July 24, 2010

Hustle & Flow

I've spent the past month doing a lot of reading, a lot of revising, and a little writing on my WIP.  Even though I don't have gobs of pages to show for it, this manuscript is coming along better than anything I've written previously.  Yes, I still sometimes sit and stare at the monitor, watching the cursor blink, but more often, I'll go to write a scene and it just flows.

Piecing a novel together is like making a quilt. In your head is the idea of what it will look like, a rough landscape of an idea. Once you begin cutting and sewing, anything can happen, new ideas for patterns can form, but generally, the quilt you imagined is in the final product, recognizable, only better and more perfect than you thought it would be.

That's the goal, anyway.

As far as the manuscript I've completed, I've gone through front-to-back several times and revised/edited. Now I'm following the suggestion of many experts: I've put it away, and I don't intend to even look at it until a month has passed. At that point, I'll decide if another revision is in order, or if I'm ready to begin querying. I hate querying... so of course I'll be looking for revision ideas. To that end, I have three friends and one son who now have a pdf copy in their hands, and who've all promised to give me feedback.

I hate waiting for feedback. When Paul has the newest page and a half I've written, it's all I can do to leave the room for the ten minutes it might take him to read. Or is it five? I don't know, I only know that it feels like hours. He has wonderful insights, and has been the source of several very important brain-storming sessions - the ones where I come up with plot twists that were on the tip of my consciousness until he coaxed them out. He's also unfailingly supportive of whatever I write, and every writer should have at least one of those.

I guess there's no doubt who'll get the first dedicated to...