Monday, October 29, 2012

A Year in the Life of an Author: October

This is my 10th post in this series, looking back each month on what happens in a writer's life. So far, I've finished a book, edited it, and now I've been doing a couple of things as I move from one project to the next. Let's take a look.

I had written a proposal for the next book (If Wishes Were Earls) back in September and sent it in. My editor approved it, but she had some concerns. Now I had the idea for this plot firmly fixed in my head and had been working out a lot of the details over the last year. Yes, I like to mull around ideas for about a year before I sit down and write them.

Then I started writing it.

Yikes! I hate it when my editor is right. Well, I don't hate it. Actually I adore her for her insights and foresight. Because her points were spot on. The problem? For a romance, my characters spent too much time in the book apart. See author slap her head in a big "Doh!"

Okay, so that plot wasn't going to work as brilliantly as I'd assumed. So I had to go back to the starting board. Not my favorite place to be. With a new deadline looming, it sort of becomes that Hail Mary play no one wants to toss out there, but there it is. So I tossed and this time her concerns were, most happily, easily fixed. At least that is what I am telling myself.

And of course, just as I started writing in earnest on this next book, my copy edits for And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake arrived. Walk up behind an unsuspecting author and say "copy edits" and she'll probably pass out. They are not fun. For one thing, you've read your book so many times that you have that inward groan of "not again."

If you want to try an experiment, take a book you like and read it from front to back about 8-10 times in the next 6 months. Yeah, by about the 7th time, you'll be groaning as well.

But add to that points of contention in the margins that you have to answer, make sense of, and respond to without saying, "...and the horse you road in on." But they are a necessary evil, and when the copy editor catches something truly important that you've missed in the last 8 passes and your editor has missed in her 2-3 reads, you say a little prayer for that CE.

And then to top it all off, I went to a writers' conference. The Surrey International Writers' Conference to be exact. It is held each year up in Surrey, British Columbia and I consider it one of the best writing conferences out there. I love going, I love seeing and hearing all about all the writing projects have and bring with them and I just love the open and accepting nature of all the writers there. Truly exciting and reinvigorating.

And so I returned from Canada, ready to write. Which is good, because that is what I need to hunker down and do.

Until next month,

Elizabeth Boyle

P.S. If you are in the Dallas area, I will be there November 9th-11th for the Readers n Ritas conference. If you can make it, it looks like it will be a grand time.

Further P.S. (It seems I am full of psss this month, LOL) If you would like to see the cover of And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake, check out my Facebook page.


Pat Cochran said...

As regards your many edits I turn
to the knowledgeable Miss Rosanne
Rosanna Danna of SNL, who once said, "It's always something!"

Pat C.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

I can't imagine reading the same stuff over 8 times... but I must admit that when I was still working... we used to get about 3 different people proofread the really important stuff... it is amazing what can slip by.. But we the reader appreciate all your hard work!

Elizabeth Boyle said...

It is! You think you have all the ends woven in and then you come along and another has popped out. Thanks for the laugh.

Elizabeth Boyle said...

It helps when you get the copy edits or the page proofs and a few weeks have passed so at least it feels a little bit fresh or new. Okay, just a little. LOL.