Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Unlocking the Door

If you read my last post, you'll know that I received an unexpected full request before I went on vacation. Let me tell you right now that vacation is not a good time or place(s) to try to revamp a manuscript. While there were some technical issues in dialogue tags and repetitive sentence structure that were pretty easy to fix, I didn't actually write a single word I felt truly CHANGED the manuscript for the better. By changed, I mean helped the reader get into the MC's head, which I've felt to be one of my downfalls writing this novel.

At first I was worried that not enough time had passed since the last time I revised Evangeline. That wasn't a problem, as it had been about six weeks since I even peeked at it.

However, it was only once I got home from vacation, decompressed, and relaxed a bit (this was not the fun, relaxing kind of vacation, I was on no fewer than six planes and spent over fourteen hours in various cars, slept in uncomfortable beds, swam in 65 degree water-- which was beautiful, if hypothermia-inducing-- and woke up to my brother's two year old screeching the mornings we were there. Oh, and I caught a cold as soon as I got home. But I digress...), that I was able to put a spin on my original opening that sort of, unlocked, if you will, a door into my MC's head that had been completely blocked to me.

Actually, it was more like I didn't even know the door was there, like the Secret Garden, covered over in vines and neglected. By unlocking that hidden door, I realized that there was so much more to her than I had shown on paper. More even than I thought I knew.

I'm supposed to be the one who knows her the best, but I was so close before all I was seeing was the bigger picture-- the garden wall, and not the garden. I was ignoring her quirks, her personality without even knowing that I was doing her a disservice. Not only did I need time to let her personality develop, I'm certain that writing the main character of my WIP helped a bit. For some reason, this new MC has no problem letting her innermost thoughts bleed all over the page. I hope I've been able to use what I learned writing this WIP to give my queried manuscript the overhaul it needed.

Sorry to keep this so short (I've been writing it piecemeal for two days now, when I have a few minutes to spare), but I've got another 200 pages of my manuscript to comb through, and too much other work to do on top of that.

Promise I won't go too long without a new post, even if it's just to tell you some of the good things that happened on my vacation. I did go to a Drive-In and saw Harry Potter 6, which was awesome, even if I got eaten alive by mosquitoes.

C'est la vie!


Unknown said...

This is exactly the perfect way to describe the revision process. Welcome home.

Eric said...

Congrats. I don't envy the work you have to do, but I do envy the success. Good job!

Abby Annis said...

Sounds like your "vacation" was interesting. :) Glad you're feeling better about your book. Yea! Welcome back!

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks, y'all! It is amazing being home and sleeping in my own bed. Even though my vacation wasn't that relaxing, somehow travel itself inspires me. Maybe it's just getting out of a daily rut that helps. Anyway, it's good to be back!

Abby, I AM feeling good about E. again, not dismal like I was feeling before. It's that feeling I had as I was finishing the first draft, only less naive. I think. ;)

Danyelle L. said...

Congratulations on the request!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Well, your readers are glad to see you back. Golly, your vacation sounds more like the 12 Trials of Hercules than a relaxing adventure. Here’s hoping your revisions go well.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog