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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I knew prior to ACFW that I needed to rewrite the book I was working on before submitting. Which is what I thought I was doing. I was pretty proud of myself. I was almost to page 50 and I knew that when I got to page 100, I could mostly edit and C&P to the end.

ACFW kicked me in the butt. No, Krista did. She did an awesome late-night chat called "You had me at hello" where she went through the openings of submissions to talk about what did and didn't work. Go buy the CD because even if you buy the whole conference CD at around $150, it's worth it.

I figured out pretty quickly I'd need to rewrite the beginning-AGAIN-and change a few things. One of the most important things Krista talked about was how your voice needs to be consistent. For whatever reason, I've taken to starting off books in a very cute and funny way. The problem is that by page 75, I get really deep and serious, and no one comes up for air until we get to the "and they all lived happily ever after" part. Just like I'm incapable of sustaining homicide through an entire book, I can't seem to maintain cute and funny for more than a couple of chapters. So despite the sheer brilliance of my cute and funny scenes, I ripped them out.

Camy's advice on the guest blog is so true. You may be in love with a particular scene or a particular line. But you have to ask yourself if it really fits into the larger picture. Another author once told me that if she's got something she thinks is absolutely brilliant, most likely, she'll be forced to cut it at some point. Maybe one day, we'll all put together a book of lines we loved but had to cut. Probably no one will get the joke.

Anyway, I've been struggling with this rewrite. Then today, the breakthrough came. Instead of writing at home with the distractions that come my way, I went to Denny's. I had to go to a finance class for my continuing education certification and we got out early. I'd brought my laptop for that very purpose. Bliss, I tell you, bliss. I always get twice as much done when I write someplace else. I went from ten usable pages to 28. I'm technically on 52, but I need to go through 28-52 to delete a few things relevant to the old version that no longer make any sense. Which brings me closer to the magical 100 and then my job gets so much easier.

Okay, maybe not. I'm not one to lie on my own blog so I might as well tell the truth. I hate editing my own stuff. I alternate between thinking I'm the most brilliant writer on the planet to thinking I'm the most idiotic. I bought a couple more writing books at the conference and ordered a few more off of Amazon, hoping for the holy grail of editing tips. Anyone out there have recommendations?

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