anghara (anghara) wrote,

Virtual Book Tour - open call

If there's anything you want to ask me or have me hold forth about, about the new book or about writing in general, and you're reading this blog right now - the comments are now open. Step right up to the mike...

learningtoread asks:

Did you have to revise? If so, could you tell us about the process?

Ah, revision, mon amour.

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I *love* writing. I *hate* rewriting. Mainly because I kind of... think... the story onto the screen and for me it has an internal shape and form and symmetry, and no I am not saying it is perfect off the bat but it has a kind of finality to it that is intrinsic to the way I write.

And then I give it to my first reader, rdeck. Who picks up a red pen and WIELDS it. Mercilessly. And I rail and rebel and whine and sulk and am generally unbearable about it, and then I go away and look at his comments and mostly, dammit, he's right, and it took a new pair of eyes (not my own, too close to the material) to see it. So I go through his comments - and I do not, by any means, take them ALL on board - and I muck around with my perfect symmetry until it's all skew, but the STORY is better for it.

And then it goes off to the editor. And the editor I currently have is ferociously good and detail oriented. She gives me an editorial letter, in the fullness of time, which contains HER instructions and suggestions. No, I don't take all of those on board either, but dammit, SHE is usually right, too, so I revise again. And there goes the symmetry and the perfection of form, down the river, splat. But the STORY gets even better, tighter, leaner, and by this stage I've usually lost about 10 000 words of the original and you know, even I can't tell any more where they used to nest.

And then it goes off to the copy editors who do a line-edit, check for continuity, deal with the little niggly things that have slipped through everyone's fine tooth combs. And I fix THAT.

And then come the page proofs, and I'm not allowed to fiddle any more except in dire emergency, but funnily enough this is when my fingers start itching and I discover all kinds of weirdnesses that I am DYING to fiddle with but can't and have to reach a state of zen that tells me "let go, let God, let the reader" and release it and let it go and grow.

By far my favourite part of this process is the original writing of the original story. I struggle mightily with rewrites, and I complain a lot, and I pickle myself in coffee (even more than usual). But if you press me I have to admit - it is necessary. It is good. It makes better. Amen.

(I STILL don't have to like it, dammit)
Tags: virtual blog tour

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