Saturday, June 6, 2009

Seriously? You Like It?

There I was with only a single request from a single agent and I was beginning to panic.  I hadn't sent out enough queries, and deep down I knew that, but truth be told - I just don't like all this business stuff. It's draining.  Still, it's a necessary evil and I began to reshape my query for another round of attempts. 

Then I received an email that made the pleasant tickle seem like a big, violent gash across the eyebrow with lemon juice dripped in for good measure.  In other words - this email ROCKED! Faye did like the MS, it turned out.  She liked it quite a bit in fact. I've never had anyone react to something I've done with that much enthusiasm before. She did, however, think it needed some "strategic trimming".  She thought there was entirely too much adventure and that some of the scenes didn't add to the book or were vital to the plot.  She figured ideally I'd be able to cut at least 100-150 pages out.  She said if I was willing to do some editing, she'd be happy to read it again, and hopefully work together.  

I know what some of you are thinking.  How can you cut 100-150 pages?  It's actually quite simple.  You do it because if you don't, your book doesn't get published.  

I love editing.  Most people think I'm crazy.  But it seriously feels like taking a splinter out when I can lift large chunks of text out of something. My producer and I used to love slicing out even something as small as a single frame from our films.  For those that don't know, that's 1/24th of a second!  But by doing something that seemingly inconsequential, the whole thing flowed better.  Same with writing a novel.  Taking out a single word will suddenly make a sentence lift off the page and grab you.  

I wrote back to Faye immediately thanking her for her kind words and her thoughts about a new revision (which let's face it.  with 100+ pages taken out was going to be a new draft)  I told her about some of my ideas and asked for her ideas as well. 

Faye is an angel! I want everyone to know this upfront.  No matter what happens with the book from here on out - it is a far better manuscript for coming across her table. She had some incredible ideas on possible edits and it got my mind twirling.  I simply could not put on the breaks and literally within a week, I'd cut out 130 pages!  

After reading through it, I was surprised to see how well her ideas assimilated into the world I created. It flowed so much better!  So I sent it back to Faye and surprised her with my speed.  I got worried that perhaps I'd worked too quickly.  I'm nothing if not insecure.  She said she was eager to read it again.  I pointed out I too was eager for her to re-read.  

The waiting game began again.        

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