Talking it out…

I am so thankful for my writing friends! I have one friend in particular…I’ve only met her in person twice, but we’ve known each other online for about eighteen years. We go back to the days of FIDO net (anybody remember that?). She’s the one I turn to when I just need to talk it out. She’s got a real gift for asking me just the right questions about my WIP and then spitting back what I just said in a different form so I can see how my story does (or does not) fit together. She’ll brainstorm with me, too.

We’ve been e-mailing back and forth about my Monkey Man sequel for the last three days. Yesterday I took all those e-mails and put them in one long document (like that outline I made last weekend) so I could see the entire progression of our conversation. TWENTY PAGES SINGLE SPACED!!! That’s how long the document is. (Not many people will write single-spaced pages of conversation with you about YOUR book. I hope she knows how much I appreciate that!)

Anyway…I started the week feeling like I was sort of on auto-pilot. I was doing the book the way my editor wanted me to do it, without really understanding WHY she wanted it this way, and without even believing it was the right way to do it.

But things have changed. I haven’t actually changed the story all that much (just a few minor tweaks here and there…and, well…I also changed the beginning again…), but I have changed how I look at it. I see how it fits together now. And I’m liking this version.

I also talked to my editor this week. Now that I see how this book fits together, I also see how much more I have to do on it. And I just don’t know that I can do it by the end of March. So I was wondering whether the world would come to an end if we pushed this book back a season. Apparently the world WILL come to an end if we push it back because they’re also releasing a paperback version of Do You Know the Monkey Man at the same time, so that would mean pushing back TWO books, not just one. But my editor was very nice…she told me to just keep working and not worry about the deadline. (It also helped to hear that SHE’S missed deadlines…both as an editor AND an author…I’m so tightly wound sometimes that just the IDEA I might miss a deadline has stressed me out to the point that it’s been difficult to work…which, of course, makes it more likely that I WILL miss the deadline.) She said that at this point, she’d rather have a late first draft than push the book back. She also says that she finds that authors who are making big changes actually write faster and better, as the missing puzzle pieces are in place. We’ll see if that’s true…

So, I’m trying not to worry about the deadline and just keep making progress on the book. Back to it…


2 thoughts on “Talking it out…

  1. Good luck, Dori! I know that stressed out feeling about missing deadlines. I am a freak about it, too. I can’t stand to be late for anything–it drives me wild.

    I hope all goes smoothly for you, and that you really find your groove with MM #2. 🙂

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