Friday, September 16, 2011

Road to Publication - My First Revision Request

This summer, I received my very first revision request.  I was over the moon!

It may not sound like a lot but this was the first time anyone in the romance publishing industry had taken notice of my writing enough to say: hey, why don't you work on this story and get back to us.  It helped that the editor also said that she loved my story. I was literally grinning for days.

But then came the hard part -- actually making the revisions.

Some stuff was fairly easy: fixing a few typos and so on.  The hard part was changing several of my scenes that were guilty of "head hopping" or switching between the points of view of more than one character.  In one scene, I found that I had switched back and forth at least three times!  Ouch.

It was the first time I became aware of my technical writing habits (read: flaws).  Head hopping appeared to be my favourite technique.

It took me weeks to change the scenes to my liking and to ensure that each scene was structurally sound, which meant going through my story line by line, word by word.  It meant re-reading my work over and over, turning a task I usually find enjoyable into a labour of love.

Labour, I did and eventually I succeeded in producing a manuscript that met with my editor's liking.  Let me tell you, those few days' wait between sending off the corrected story and waiting for her to say it was good were a killer!

The process of revising taught me a great deal.  With someone else watching over my shoulder, I recognized my common mistakes and was able to develop a technique for fixing them.  Yes, it's painstaking but it was well worth it to get back that email saying my story looked good.

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