Week one of developmental revision. 12 Chapters in. 3 sleepless nights. 5 early mornings. Lots of trips to Starbucks for green iced tea. That’s the update!
Last report I said how I was in conflict over the developmental editor asking me to change my character’s personality. I’ve made very subtle changes, like changing “she burst into tears” to saying, “she wanted to drop to the ground and go fetal, but for Jack’s sake, she remained resolved to be strong in his presence.” I know its a lot more words, but to be honest, I’m very pleased with the changes. I’m new at all of this and so my initial impression of killing off the developmental editor in my book has become less dramatic. I have learned to allow my character to evolve. She’s not devoid of all emotion. It will just come about a bit slower so as to build to her ultimate crisis.
Other changes: point of view (POV). I am so glad I have learned about this POV rewrite because I can now see how my readers will be caught up in only ONE person’s head. It has caused some major structural changes in the book due to the fact that people will not know what all three character at the skating rink are thinking…I had to move one character’s thoughts and feelings to another chapter where it was in her POV. Mind you, I didn’t change the emotions, I simply had to drop and drag to different areas. And, again, in my opinion it has worked so much better to stay with one character. I suppose these are the lessons a novice who has no formal literary schooling must strive to learn and overcome.
Next change: Staying out of my own head. I can’t say things the character doesn’t himself/herself see. Example: “He looked at her through radiant blue eyes.” Now unless my character, Travis, is very arrogant, he would not use the term, “radiant blue eyes.” He might say he looked at her through burning eyes or stinging eyes or squinted eyes, but NOT radiant blue eyes. Does he know his eyes are radiant? And how conceited to say, “radiant, blue eyes.” So I am learning to be the character in that scene and only see what he/she sees. Not always an easy task, by the way.
It’s cost me a fortune in green teas at Starbucks, and I have since starting using a registered gift card so I can at least earn rewards. Maybe because they see my face there for 2 hrs a day and twice a week they will let me do a small book signing there. It’d be nice and cozy. Only 22 more chapters to go and I am exhausted. I never knew just how much work went into sending a book out to publication. Is it all worth it? Is it worth the onslaught of migraines and investment in Costco sized saline eye drops and Tums? Is it worthe sleepless night and early mornings? Is it worth the dirtiness of my bedroom that has been ignored for 6 months? Is it worth black roots that show through my red hair because I just have to finish this last chapter that goes well into the midnight hour? Hell yeah it is. I can’t wait to see my finished product. Can you? As Captain Jack Sparrow would say, “Now bring me that horizon.”