By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye
Last Sunday was one of my favorite days as a writer—the day I finally wrote The End. This was a good thing since Back To You was due on my editor’s desk the next day. I drove home from meeting my lovely critique partners at Starbucks knowing I had to write this blog and I thought about the experience of writing this book.
Every book is different, and no two experiences are going to be the same, but having just finished my seventh book, I’m beginning to see trends and subtle changes in my writing process.
With every book, I find that writing the beginning and the end gets more difficult. It’s been my experience that the book will be almost finished for the longest time, but I go back and rewrite the beginning and the end over and over and over again. A book not only has to begin with a hook, it has to end with a hook. It has to make the reader want to reach for my next book and unfortunately for me, hooks are not easy to come by. So I’ve been writing and rewriting the end of the Back To You. I’m still not happy with it.
I sent the manuscript in on time and received an email from my editor telling me she’s not going to be able to look at it for a few weeks so I still have time to change my mind about the end, and, knowing me, I’ll take another crack at it.
I’m impossible to please so I thank God for both deadlines and revisions. Most authors hear that and think, is she masochistic? Maybe, but I see revisions as a chance to catch all the things I missed the first time around. I know, I’m a sick, sick puppy.
I’ve seen a lot of changes in my writing process during the writing of Back To You because I didn’t have the time I had to write that I had with my previous books. I’ve always been a pretty clean writer. I write a scene and I don’t move on until I’m happy with it. It’s the same way with a chapter, but in the past, I’ve read and reread the book countless times before I actually finished it. Not this time. I just didn’t have the time to devote several hours to reading the book when I needed to be writing the darn thing. Because of that, last weekend was the first time I sat down to read the entire book. I met with my critique partners and we read the book aloud from beginning to end. I went to our meeting with a good bit of trepidation. Truth be told, I was sick. I was sure that the book would be awful. Actually, I think my exact words were, “God, I hope it doesn’t suck.” My Critique Partners (who I’m sure have a place in heaven with their names on it) told me I was wrong. Me, I just prayed they were right. I have to tell you, the torture went on the entire two days we read. I’d say “Okay, the first 115 pages are good, but what about the next 285?”
I might be shooting myself in the foot because my editor has yet to read it, but I have to say, it was much better than I thought it would be, which in laymen terms means I’m pretty sure it doesn’t suck. I kept waiting for it to, and although there were a few rough sentences that needed to be rewritten, and more spelling and punctuation mistakes than I thought existed in the world, all in all, I’m happier with this book than I had been with any of the others. Mind you, I hadn’t had much sleep and I was hurled into allergy season, so I might have been delusional, but at least I’m a happy delusional.
I’ll do one more read-through and send the manuscript back to my lovely editor by Monday morning, at which time I’ll suffer with a bad case of agita until I hear from her. It’s a good thing I already have my next assignment—writing the synopsis for my next Domestic Gods Gone Wild book, Something Wild. I have my work cut out for me but at the end of the day, I’ll still be praying that my editor calls me and says, “I loved it.”
Gosh that feels good!
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye