Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to the keyboard

Earlier this summer I finshed writing a new novel called Obsession. I wrote it rather quickly, in only about five weeks, and then managed to go through several edits within a couple of weeks. Realizing that I had made it the best that I could by myself (and with the help of my sister-in-law, Rebecca, who helps me edit), I submitted it to my publisher, Covenant Communications. And I waited. Nervously.

I admit, I'm always a bit nervous when I submit a novel, but this one really had me worried. Something wasn't sitting quite right with it, but no matter how hard Rebecca and I tried, neither of us could put our finger on what needed to happen to make it better. So after several weeks of waiting, impatiently waiting, I received an email from my editor yesterday. It wasn't the ideal, "Yes, we love the book. Here are a few minor changes we need to make." Instead it was more of a "the book has promise but it needs to be rewritten." In other words, try again.

As much as I would have loved to get the ideal answer to my submission, I kind of figured I would be getting the second response. The good news is that along with the request for a rewrite, I also received a list of suggestions and some detailed evaluator comments.

Since I've been writing, I've discovered that there are two types of writers. The first are the authors who look at the comments and suggestions and get very frustrated, even insistent that the evaluators just didn't get what they were trying to do. I'm the other type of writer, the one who wants the feedback, even looks forward to it. I know the evaluators and the people at my publishing house are trying to make me better. They understand what I'm trying to do. They see the possibilities and the potential, and they're pushing me to fulfill them. And I want to explore those possibilities and fulfill that potential.

I also understand that my publisher and I are in complete agreement in one respect. Neither of us wants to see a book with my name on the front cover and have people disappointed by what's inside. So now it's back to the keyboard. I've brainstormed with my editor (who I love, by the way) and we've come up with a plan to make the major fixes. Now I just hope that my characters will embrace the changes and help me get their story right this time.

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