Saturday, March 24, 2007

Back At The Coalface?

I had to use this title for today's blog after Natasha Oakley asked me that by MSN Messenger yesterday. Cos it's very apt. It's certainly how it feels...

Yes, I am *still* working my way through the revisions in this book. I can't remember the last time I took so long on a set of revisions. In fact - I don't think I've *ever* spent this long on a set of revisions. Lemme just mentally check that....

Mmmm....

Nope - I'm right - I haven't. I'm usually the *turn the revisions round in 48 hrs* gal. I find being paid is a great motivator that way ;) But this one is a different story (no pun intended). And actually I've been noticing lately that I'm not the only one who seems to be working harder and harder on each story - just look at the internet gang! I browse several message boards and blogs before I sit down to work each day and every single one of them is waaaayyyyyy more silent than this time last year. Which, in one way is great, cos it's means I'm not alone in feeling I'm almost constantly at the coalface, but in another way is a tad worrying too - does this mean we're all being *put* under more pressure, or is it simply that we expect more of our writing the longer we do it for??? Answers on a postcard please...

From my point of view it's a mixture of the two... I'm *put* under pressure because I have deadlines, such is the way of the publishing world, and yes, I most definitely *do* expect more of my writing as I go along - because if I don't, then I kinda think to myself - what's the point??? Yes, I could take the attitude of rhyming them off a-la-formulaic-production-line but you know what? I DON'T WANT TO. And there's just no way in hell my readers would LET ME. Already I'm all too aware of phrases and words that I'll use from book to book and I hate that they bug me so much but I've got to the stage where I consider them part of my *voice* - they're Trish-ism's - they're phrases and words you would hear me use if I was speaking to you face to face...

Thing is - I plan on being in this game for the long haul (with a lot of luck and a following wind...) - so if I want that then I've got to work at this every damn day. I've got to push myself, test my limits, take the odd chance, accept criticism when it's due (particularly when it's a point I agree on!!!) and I guess I have to accept that if a particular story and pair of characters mean a lot to me then they're worth taking the time over to do justice to them...

The difficulty with this one is there's a very very very good chance it's gonna go waaaayyyyy over the wordcount limit. And I'm a tad worried about that. With each book I work on I know my editing *is* getting better but what this means is that through the *majority* of the book the scenes run into each other the way I like them to and every scene adds something to the story the way it's supposed to do... so what do I lose to make way for the new additions my ed wants to see??? What goes and what do I put in to make sure that I haven't lost anything important from the original scene and yet have still added the extra parts that are needed to bring the story up to scratch??? Huh? Huh? If that made sense to you and you have a *quick-fix* answer then please feel free to let me know!!! (keeping in mind that my comments link is still useless and will only work if you right click and open it...)

And this is where I think a CP is an excellent addition for any new writer. Working with a CP is similar (though obviously not completely the same) as working with an editor. You get used to taking constructive criticism from someone else, you can take suggestions and throw your own spin on them, you can disagree and stand up for a scene and make it *work* so that your intention is clearer - you basically learn the disciplines you'll need to work through revisions with an editor. And that's a GIFT. And yes, it won't always be an easy thing to do - but what you need to remember is that any good cp - just like any editor - should only be concerned with getting the best possible piece of work out of you!!! Which is a GREAT THING. It just might not feel like it at the time when you're at the actual coal face...

So I'm kinda glad that I'm taking a little more time than usual with this one. Even if I know it's now late and it's eating into my time on my next Modx... :( I just want it to be right - you know? And not just for me - but for the people who will hopefully read it. And I think that's the way it should be, right??? Mind you, if I just wasn't so bloody minded about not falling into too many *cliche traps* it would make my life a lot simpler... Sigh...

I have lot's of nice reviews for Breathless! and Rescued: Mother-To-Be to show you... and I got my hardback copies of Bride Of The Emerald Isle (LOVIN THAT COVER!) so as soon as I break away from the coalface I'll pop back and get caught up...okay??


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