Monday, April 6, 2015

The Recipient - Update No. 2: Revision 6.

After a while, it becomes apparent how treacherous revising and editing can be for an author. Looking at the same words on the same page in the same document over and over again can lead one towards losing perspective. The words blur into one another - as does the plot, the characters and their motivations - and you can't look at the document objectively anymore. And yet, as I've said before, this is the one part of the writing process that I profess to enjoying the most.

Draft 5 of The Recipient - the draft that went into my publisher - was returned to me a little over a fortnight ago, and I was excited (I know, right!) to see digital "sticky notes" plastered all over it from my Vancouver based publisher, Central Avenue. In short, while there was a lot of work to do on the manuscript structurally, the core story was sound and the characters were well cast. 

Over a couple of video conferences, Michelle and I discussed the notes, numerous minor tweaks to the manuscript and a couple of more significant ones and in the course of those discussions, she really helped to defragment my objective software and reboot my system. The subsequent round of revisions - which I've dubbed Revision 6 - allowed me to approach the manuscript with fresh eyes.

So often, we write in isolation, without anyone to bounce ideas off. The first stage of my edits involving my beta readers was a great first step in getting a feel from a set of readers who came to the story cold. Their individual suggestions and comments helped me to refine the story, address glaring plot holes and gauge their reaction. But it was only the first step in the journey. Before long, I found myself back in the place where I was struggling with my objectivity. The process I am in now with my publisher Michelle has been my savior. With Michelle's astute eye for both the technical and literary aspects of story telling, I am in a space that is much more focused and I am relishing it. 

Late last week, Revision 6 went in for review by Michelle and the editing team. I feel confident that the story is pretty much perfect. Now, the polishing process begins. We'll go line by line, ensuring that we've eliminated any and all grammatical errors and we'll review the document after that to make sure that there isn't anything else to add or subtract. 

We've also begun to discuss the cover art for the novel. While these discussions are at their very early stages, we've already hit upon some ideas that really excite us. The eventual design will help guide the marketing effort we plan for the book.

So there is a lot happening, even if it doesn't seem like a lot is happening.

Stay tuned. 


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