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Saturday, June 02, 2012

It’s Like Torture, Only Worse


Do you know what I love doing? Revising a book. It’s where you pull everything apart, delete scenes, re-write scenes, add new scenes, then stitch it all back together and pray it makes sense. And if it doesn’t? Well, you go right back to the beginning and do it all over again.

I’m lying.

I loathe revising. Actually, I may even abhor it depending on the day. Revising is like anything else in life that’s worth your time and attention: it’s hard. Really hard. And, apparently, it only grows more so with each book. The revision process for my latest book, The Saint Who Stole My Heart, turned out to be very different from the first three. Oh, I didn’t know it would be going in. I’d just assumed my process would work as well for the fourth as it had for its predecessors; a neat, organized plan, my editor’s notes, and plenty of coffee.

And then the universe laughed.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know where to begin. More like I didn’t know where to end. I was maturing as a writer, honing my craft and adding more skills to my bag of tricks. Suddenly the manuscript possessed endless possibilities for improvement that the inexperienced writer I’d been would not have been able to see or understand. Talk about growing pains!

What I needed was time. Time to re-think all that I’d learned from writing the first three books. Time to apply that knowledge to The Saint Who Stole My Heart. Time to breathe and accept that change, even good change, is difficult--but so very, very worth it.

In the end, my editor supplied the extra hours, the Sheraton furnished the hotel room, and Starbucks dispensed the fuel. And The Saint Who Stole My Heart absolutely shines all the more for it.

How about you? Ever encounter a moment in your life where you knew you should rise to the challenge but the very idea of doing so gave you hives? Tell me about it and you’ll be entered to win all four of my Regency Rogues Books. Good luck!

Find me on the web:
http://www.stefaniesloane.com
http://www.facebook.com/stefaniesloane
https://twitter.com/#!/stefaniesloane

***Stefanie's winner is Barbara E.!  Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your mailing info!***

14 comments:

emaginette said...

Revising may suck but it's part of the job. :-) Everyone thinks it just comes out that way . . . tee hee hee.

Don't let it win.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Ever try to clear out a relative's house...

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Think of it more as polishing something to perfection....

Leah Weller said...

I am not good at speaking in public and was asked to speak at the last minute at a benefit I had went to. It was a very personal experience I spoke of and only did it hoping that what I said could help another in their struggles. I can relate to feeling the hives appear. I was so nervous but in the end felt like I did what was right.

As a reader, I can only imagine what it is to have to revise something you poured your heart and soul into. The end results are wonderful stories that many find enjoyment from and you can give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for taking your readers on those journeys. What a wonderful giveaway and thank you so much for the chance at winning! :)

Barbara E. said...

There have been many times that I had a task assigned to me that I dreaded doing, didn't know where to start, and stressed about it until I actually just gritted my teeth and started in on it. Every time, once I start sorting things out and get started, everything works out and I enjoy finishing the task. It's always that initial not knowing where to start that I dread and I have to think, just start somewhere and do one thing at a time and before I know it, I'll be finished.

erin said...

Thanks for the great post and giveaway! I've got your series on the top of my wishlist ;)

Ummm... I've been fortunate that I haven't run across very many cringe worthy challenge moments in my life. I'm a bit of a procrastinator so that doesn't help. I'll put stuff off until almost, but not quite, the last minute then grit my teeth and dive in.

marybelle said...

I had a major challenge in my life & I stepped up & faced it head on. It still haunts me, but I realize how strong I can be if necessary.

Rowrow1998 said...

Yes I have moments like that all the time. It sucks. Like when I did a science project. I did the whole thing wrong. When I had a friend look at it she said how to fix it but fixing it would mean starting all over. I didn't want to do it at all. The idea made me sick because the wrong project took me over a week to complete. But I sucked it up and did it because it was the right thing to do. And look my grade went up a letter grade and I got bonus points for doing such a good job. There will be tons of moments in life that are hard but if we suck it up and with the flow I have found everything turns out all right. I would love love love to win a set of your books. Your writing is amazing and I can't get enough of it. Thanks for taking the time to read this!!! *FINGERS CROSSES*

Linda Henderson said...

I'm like Leah, I'm not comfortable with speaking in front of large groups. I remember back when my daughter was a senior Girl Scout and our troop had nominated Wilma Mankiller for a Woman of Distinction award and she couldn't be there to accept her award that night. She sent a letter asking me if I would accept on her behalf. I thought I was going to throw up, I was a nervous wreck. Number one, I've always been a great admirer of hers and I wanted to do her justice. I come from Cherokee ancestors so I felt added pressure to do it right. Boy was I glad when that was done. I've got a little better over the years, but it's still not my favorite thing to do.

Lory Lee said...

Plenty of times. But I always remind myself to do it right away when I still have the courage before I get chicken, ran away and hide.

*yadkny* said...

I've definitely encountered several moments like those in my life. I guess the one that stands out for me was when I was offered the opportunity when I was a teenager to be a team leader at this place I worked for. It was a chance to prove if I had leadership ability, but it came with a ton of responsibility and less free time. The pay wasn't that much better, but I took it because I thought it would look good on my resume in the end. It totally paid off in the job I currently have and I am still there 6 years later and love what I do. I think the experience led me to my true calling.

yadkny@hotmail.com

Kathleen O said...

I think the hardest thing for me was to stand up in front of all my peers and give my High School Valedictorian speech.. I was shaking so bad and I could not remember much that happened afterward. But I looked out and the audience was on their feet and when I turned around the Facility was on theirs too.. It made it all worth it..

Karen H in NC said...

Not me ladies! I have developed avoidance of an unpleasant task to an art form. I missed hitting Valedictorian by .001 points so I didn't have to give that speech.

Since you are talking about revisions today, this question should fit right in: So you do major rewrites to your books before turning then into your publisher, correct? Recently another author told me she completely re-wrote the same story twice until she was satisfied and turned it in. Didn’t say if there requests for edits or not….but it made me wonder…is that a case of overthinking something to the point of outsmarting yourself? Is it best to try to get the product perfect or wait for it to come back bleeding with edits?

Jen B. said...

The day I told my husband that we needed to make a budget and stick to it. Let me tell you, the hives actually had hives! We are still pounding out the final plan but we are making progress. It's all about revisions! jepebATverizonDOTnet