Tuesday, July 4, 2023

The Turn In

My one blog reader, Lee, asked about whether I'm turning in pages of my new novel (currently called THE ONE AND ONLY SARAH JONES) on the regular. 

She asked this because I wrote in my last MWFA blog post that I "finish" my 8000 words and then hand them in. Lee knows this is not SOP for novel writing. Usually, novelists just write their stuff and deal with their own cadre of critique partners and freelance editors (I have them), and then turn in a "finished" version of the whole thing to their official editor and/or agent. 

My agent, Joanna, is highly editorial, so I do always give her a whole thing. Most often this happens before we send it to my official editor at Berkley. We do some of the work before Kerry, the editor, has to see it. It makes me seem smarter and lower maintenance than I actually am. The plan seemed to be working fine because Berkley bought four of my books.

But this time, for the fourth one when I'm supposed to be more experienced and competent, I'm handing in pages on the regular.

Here's what that's all about: I "finish" like 6000-8000 words and then send those pages to Joanna in a document on their own. It's like an accountability thing, but no one's making me do it except myself. Joanna doesn't even read the pages. It's just like a little checkmark, as assurance for everyone that I'm writing the book. 

This book has been hella hard to write. There have been many stops and starts. Two ideas got killed by my publisher before we landed on this one. This one got torn apart by an agency editor before I doubled-down on it and figured out how to make it go.

There has been a lot of crying and despair, hence MWFA. And also, hence the accountability gold-star hand-in-pages email check.

I have a book update today, too, for those of you (Lee) who like to know how the sausage gets made. 

I'm going to whisper it: 

I had to go review all those chunks I've sent Joanna because it's time to fill some plot holes. (I have a helper for that who can do his job much more easily if I do some prep). And, I've discovered while I've re-read them that the chapters I've written are... 

...good. The book is funny. It's interesting. There are some holes, yes,  but they are going to get filled. 

Yesterday was a good, good day.


unabashed liberal said...

not just lee. me too. thanks for the update

LH said...

Blog readership is down these days, let's face it.
But I love your blog and am so happy to see updates.
We soldier on.

Thanks for the info presented here. Love getting a peek into the process.

Love the way you set goals for yourself and follow through. I'm good with the former, and not the latter.

ps Also l really liked that last newsletter.

pps Hi UL!

Kate R said...

I'm so excited to read your next book and thank you for being so honest about how difficult the writing and revising part is!