Shifting Gears

At the time of my last post, I’d written just over 10,000 words on book #3. I was happy with how things were going, because I could envision “the book,” even though I had no outline. As promising as the work appeared, #3 has now been shelved for at least a month. Such a halt might appear counter productive, but is necessary under the circumstances.

Early this last week I met with my editor to discuss possible changes to book #2, which I will now refer to by its title, Oranges and Lemons. The meeting was the first occasion on which I’d heard her opinion regarding any particular aspects of the manuscript. As usual, I agreed with her, and as usual I had anticipated some of her comments. One result of the meeting was a rough timeline for whipping the novel into shape. The first set of revisions needs to be complete in about a month to enable publication in the spring of 2012. In order to facilitate that first deadline, book #3 must be put on hold.

I hadn’t looked at or thought much about Oranges and Lemons since the end of April, when the manuscript was submitted to the publisher, so the first thing I had to do was once again become familiar with it. I don’t know about other writers, but I don’t carry all the details of my writing around in my head. As I made my way through the draft this week, it was relatively easy to see how the suggested revisions would work. For the first time, I began to get excited about Oranges and Lemons. Five months away from it had given me some perspective, and the input from my editor had given me the confidence I needed to move it forward.

Sometimes shifting gears can be a good thing, and it’s often necessary in order to cross the finish line. I’m starting to think that in the process of writing a series, the shift can be particularly beneficial, since so many aspects of the novels are interconnected. I have no doubt that when I do go back to work on #3, it will be with a firmer understanding of the characters and a renewed interest in exploring their ever-evolving lives.

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1 Comment

  1. Lucy Ammerman

     /  October 15, 2011

    Thanks for sharing your experience/s.


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