Monday, November 16, 2015
I've just this morning sent out an updated draft of my verse novel which is due for publication next Fall. During the early drafts, I work at my own pace and though I typically write for long morning and/or afternoon stretches, I'm also free to stop and meet a friend for lunch or to shop, read, clean house or do laundry..
not so with the later drafts. Once a manuscript is accepted and I'm on the schedule, revision begins in earnest. I've already written about the joys of working with my Scholastic editor - and again, in this go-round she has opened paths and encouraged closer inspection of characters and scenes which have already lead to a stronger read. What I didn't mention is what hard work writing sometimes is - how many wrong paths I sometimes follow - how much time is spent searching for the right word only to end up cutting out an entire sequence...and how, meanwhile, the dust thickens and the laundry piles...
I think I could work on the same piece forever and never quite be done - it seems there is always more research that would enrich the story and so many better ways to express what I've already written. But dates and deadlines keep me moving; they often stretch my writing time through morning, afternoon and night.
Then the dawn comes when I've sent out my new draft and the characters with whom I have been living for so long leave me to breakfast alone. This time they're not going far. They may even come back to spend more time with me before being dressed in fancy paper and sent out to live lives of their own.
Meanwhile, I miss them. Seems as soon as I hit the send button, I recall one more thing I wanted to tell them - one more thought they might have said. I'm sure I'll have another chance - but for now, I've thickening dust and piles of laundry to keep me company.