Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Between Books

There's always a time lag between sending back a signed contract and waiting for the editor's letter detailing the changes she feels will improve the story. I continue work on my current project but I know her letter will turn up and I'll have to redirect my focus. Switching to another set of characters can be hard, getting back into the rhythm and world of the other book is often jarring when my thoughts have been consumed by the present crew.

But it does feel like meeting old friends when I dip into the manuscript and begin to immerse myself in their problems once more. I know these people and I know how they think. My editor's instincts and insights are mostly things I agree with and she rarely wants major changes. Sometimes we have a discussion on Aussie vs US language. For two countries using the same basic language there are a surprisingly large number of words and phrases that differ.

When the revisions are finished it's time to go back to the current work in progress and reacquaint myself with the characters waiting patiently for me to continue their lives. A few months later a big parcel will arrive with the A4 printed pages of the novel for a final read through for errors. Again I drag myself away from the current story and plunge into the previous one for the last time. The next time these people will appear in my life they'll be in their shiny new book with another lovely Avalon cover.

Look out in 2012 for Dimity and Marcus in Love On the North Shore Line.


Shirley Marks said...

Ah... the time between books. It's exciting to begin a new story but the new characters must be pushed aside when the revisions for the previous book arrive.

It's still fun to revisit the old story and even better when the revisions are completed and you can return to the new people in their new tale. Sometimes they have a new idea of what they want to do when you return!

Sandy Cody said...

It's always interesting to take a step back and see how you've changed as a writer. Since I write a series, I'm always on the lookout to make sure my characters remain true to the personna I've given them and, at the same time, leave them room to grow.

Carolyn Hughey said...

I sure know what you mean, Lis. I have the same problem. Right now I have so many projects I'm working on, I guess it just depends on which one gets the day's priority, but it all gets done sooner or later.

I also feel the same way about the editor's comments which are usually spot on. On a few occasions I've asked to keep what I have as opposed to what she's suggesting and I've never had any issues from her. She's a gem of an editor and I hope she stays with Avalon for a long time. :-)

Shirley said...

I'm editing a book for Avalon right now. Hasn't sold YET, but I am hopeful. I can't wait to have the same problem you're having.

Lori Robinett said...

It's always funny to hear writers talk about their characters - sometimes I think my characters must populate different towns in my head, and going back to visit them is like seeing old friends again. Congrats on your contract!

Carolyn Brown said...

Love this post and to be reminded that as authors we all face the same challenges!