Thursday, July 5, 2012

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Holidays can be good...and not so good.  While the sound of fireworks filled the air yesterday, I spent the day making changes aka doing revisions on A NANNY FOR THE COWBOY.  And because I was determined to get them done--which I did--it also meant that other things had to be put aside.

One of those things that was put off until today was a blog on plotting.  The truth is, I did start that blog today, but I decided that it might be even better if I shared something related, but not directly about plotting.

Let's face it.  None of us is infallible.  That includes me.  Yeah, it really includes me today.  You see, I sent off the proposal for the next book following the one mentioned above.  The working title for this new book is DESIGNS ON THE COWBOY.  First, let me state upfront that I am not good with titles, so if your first reaction is blech, that's okay.  More than likely that title will change.  

Second? Read on.

I received an email from my editor this morning with some suggestions to strengthen the story.  Changes will include a bit of an overhaul on the hero and fixing/changing some major plot points. Ooops!  There's that word.  PLOT.  You see, sometimes no matter how much time you put into it, plotting doesn't always come out the way you'd planned.  Sometimes we leave questions unanswered, sometime our plots have sagging middles, and sometimes a plot just needs to be punched up to keep it from being mundane and...dare I say it?...boring to the reader.  You see, while the story wasn't bad, it definitely could be made better.  Luckily--and thanks to suggestions from my editor--I can do that.

There are so many things that make a book a good read.  From plot to characters to pacing to author voice to sentence structure to setting and more, writing a book is like creating a recipe.  It takes the perfect amount of the right ingredients to make it tasty.  Not enough salt, and it can be bland.  Too much and...

Nobody is perfect.  (That definitely describes me!)  Not every book is a bestseller.  But as writers, we want to write the best book we can, and that can mean making changes we hadn't planned on making.  I'll be thinking of the changes I need to make, and on Monday I'll start working on them.  While it puts me behind on my writing schedule (see anything related to GOALS), if I work steady, I can still make my deadline and turn in a better story.

Look for "Cooking Up a Story" next week.
If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother editor told you.  ~ Author Unknown (edited by) Roxann Delaney


Joanie said...

So glad you're late posting, Roxann. Not only did it give me something to wait for, I enjoyed reading about someone else's life that is only "almost in sync" like mine. Just a day or so--no worries. We're all exactly there. Took a break to read your post while I'm trying to finish adding the Track Changes to a client manuscript file that I said I thought would be completed yesterday. No such luck, but I'm getting there, and she's patient. What would we all do without edits and editors and editing and changes? I vote for drinking more mimosas while it's hot outside, but that's just me rebelling about having to work when I'd really like to be getting ready to go to Thrillerfest [smile].

Great post!


kylee said...

Good post. Like the other commenter, I enjoy your saying your plans were sidelined by life. We're all there, every day, faster each year, of-track more often. Sigh...Good post.


Rox Delaney said...

Joanie, we do the best we can. Sometimes life goes smoothly, and sometimes it's as bumpy as a washboard. C'est la de l'écriture.

Thrillerfest, huh? Just so you know, I am GREEN WITH ENVY!

Rox Delaney said...

Thanks for stopping by, kylee! I guess the best way to look at those things that could drive us crazy is to remember that without them, life would be horribly boring. (Sometimes boring does sound good though, at least for a couple of days. )