Monday, June 11, 2012

My Book: The Editing Process - "It is Gripping"

It's been a while since I started Day Laughs, Night Cries.  I had submitted the first three chapters to obtain a grant and received more than I had expected.  Four out of five small publishers commented on my writing style and three asked that I send them the completed manuscript, while two offered me grants.  I could not believe the response.  I had written the chapters as class assignments.  

I worked on the first draft as a person running a marathon.  I could not put it down.  Memories surfaced like beautiful wild flowers and overgrown wild weeds. I cried, laughed, and wrote (see the title).  The first draft was a quick read with flashbacks and cliffhangers.  I had used flashbacks to escape writing about difficult situations.  The flashbacks allowed me to give insights without giving too much.  They also allowed me to keep certain characters at the surface.  This strategy worked well, but only for me.

I gave the manuscript to some people to tell me if it hooked them or not.  Not for a real critique.  An English Literature professor said, "It is gripping, and fast paced throughout." A media professor involved with television series said, "It is so alive and strong... send it right away to a publisher.  It is that good...." 

Then, I sent it to one of the small publishers who liked the manuscript but suggested that it needed more work and asked if I would like a critique.  I quickly said yes. I love constructive critique.  It was an excellent critique that listed the strengths and weaknesses in the manuscript, the strong dialogue and where the voice strayed from child, to adult, to academic.  I've worked on everything the publisher mentioned because I believed in the critique.  When I completed the next draft, an editor, among other things, suggested I change the ending.  I did.  Now I need to let go of the manuscript, but .... not yet.   

81 comments:

  1. Wow, your book is getting some great feedback and that grant is super. Good luck!

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    1. Just hope that when it's finally done, I'll still get great feedback.

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  2. Peaches, sounds like you have some good work on your hands. Being neurotic with my writing, I understand your dilemma. You'll know when it's finished.

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  3. Good job, Peaches! Making the most of a critique is good, but I hope you stay true to yourself.

    Love,
    janie junebug

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  4. Wow, Peaches, you are so patient.

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    1. Linda, I don't know if this is patience or something else I don't have a word for. (lol)

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  5. That is wonderful! Good critiques can help you become a better writer. Good luck!

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    1. Over the years, I have learned so much by getting critiques, not only for my manuscript but for other writing projects.

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  6. How awesome Peaches; congratulations! What a blessing to receive helpful and constructive advice that works for you. :)Would love to read it!

    Blessings and love friend,
    Denise

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    1. It's truly a blessing although the actual process of editing is sometimes tedious.

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  7. Oh man I could use a critique like that, sounds like it really helped you along :)

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    1. It was a one-page critique. It was great. The was thorough because she has years of book editing experience.

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  8. Congratulations, that's totally awesome! I'm sure those are the moments when being a writer is the best job in the whole entire world. Of course maybe next to being an ice cream taste tester, or something. ;)

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    1. Madeline, I was "over the moon." I was encouraged, tremendously. I found more hope in being a writer.

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  9. Feedback and grants - that is wonderful!

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    1. The feedback was the cherry on top of the pie or the grant.

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  10. Hi Peaches :)

    No, I haven't heard from Haritha for a while! I miss her :(

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    1. I miss her too and hope that she's well.

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  11. Sounds like you're getting some great feedback. Editing can be a long process. It's so much nicer when we can get some crits that help us move forward.

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    1. Editing, I think, is harder than writing.

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  12. Good for you! Sounds like things are progressing in good fashion, and congrats on the grants! I bet it won't be long before I can buy your book on amazon!!!

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  13. It's amazing how much work goes into one polished manuscript. That's partly why I marvel at the number of books that get published each year. Each book is an example of a lot of people's hard work (one in particular).

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    1. People underestimate the amount of work writers invest in penning their books.

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  14. This is so exciting! I bet it's amazing :0)

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  15. It's exciting getting to this stage.

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    1. You are so sweet. Thanks for that wonderful comment on my blog today ;)

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  16. Congratulations, Peaches. It sounds like you're on your way. I'm very happy for you:)

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  17. I am so excited for you! Keep us posted.

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  18. Congratulations !
    come in:http://mymilktoof.blogspot.com/

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  19. sorry come in : foto-move.blogspot.com

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  20. Hi Peaches,
    Congratulations! That's quite an achievement. I am sure you must be very happy, and very proud of yourself.
    I am happy for you!
    Vincent

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    1. Thanks Vincent. I slowly moving along.

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  21. Congratulations! I can't wait to read your book, i do so love your blog and writing style. You are mad talented so I knew it was only a matter of time. So happy for you!

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  22. Way to go! Before you know it you will be published!

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  23. That's wonderful that you got some great feedback and those grants! Congrats. Hope to hear when the book will be published. :)

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    1. Getting the feedback was a great gift.

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  24. Keep up the great work, Peaches. You're doing this the right way.

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  25. Sounds like you're really close! Good luck!!

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  26. Well done on being professional enough to take advice. Sounds like you'll have a well polished manuscript on your hands!

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  27. Congratulations on your achievements and good luck with the next step! So excited for you!

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  28. Fantastic news, Peaches! Congratulations on the grants. Sounds like you are well on your way! I am very impressed the way you responded to the critique. Many people become defensive rather than learn from the expertise of others. I am thrilled for you!

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    1. Over the years, I learned the advantage of good feedback and how it can transform a piece.

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  29. Congratulations, I'm not a writer myself, but I read the blogs of many who are and I understand from that how difficult it is to get something published today. This is a great achievement and shows it is a good idea to listen to critique.

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  30. Congrats. Sounds like you have a great idea going. Good luck with the final touches!

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  31. Congrats on the grants and responses you received. I bet your excited. Keep up the good work!

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  32. Books will turn out great if the author will appreciate the need for book editing and some enhancements a professional editor can offer.

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  33. Peaches, its been a while since I visited and I must say a big congratulations, it is great news to hear, you have worked hard, and I am right behind you as one of your cheerleaders, blessings, Amanda

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    1. Thanks for cheering me on. There are days when I need such a reminder.

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  34. I'm happy that your writing journey is going so well. Day Laughs, Night Cries is a great title and obviously publishers think it's a great book. I wish you the best of luck. Thank you for reading my blog and it's great to meet another Jamaican writer.

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    1. Happy to meet you, another writer from Jamaica, Sheena.

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  35. I'm so excited for you...congrats. Keep planting and watering your seeds and expect a BIG harvest! Congratulations again!

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  36. Congratulations! Keep on keeping on!

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  37. It sounds like you are well on your way. Keep it up!

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  38. Hello Peaches,
    I'ev stopped by a few times, but I think this is the first time I've commented. Just want to wish you continued success. You're SO close to getting that book out there! Keep us informed. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anita, and thanks for the comment and the follow.

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  39. Editing is such a difficult yet necessary process. Even when I wrote articles for colleges for a decade, I do not think I would have learned half as much about writing better were it not for solid, sensitive yet direct critiques and for understanding how to edit.

    Congratulations on finishing your draft, submitting, editing then editing some more. It is just wonderful Peaches. Flashbacks are tricky to work in, don't you agree? Finding a convention that suits YOUR style, yet is clear for the reader. But how wonderful that you are on the verge of letting it go out on the next stage of the manuscript's voyage!

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  40. I feel the same, Jeannette. It was through editing that I think I learned so much about writing.

    I'm still trying to cut words from the manuscript.

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