Monday, January 16, 2012

(Imaginary) Conversation With a Really Cool YA Author & Thanks

Thanks to all of you who commented on the last post about working on my rewrites or starting with a fresh idea. I've decided to take the advice from many of you and work on both, giving my rewrites a bit more attention and time. 

Fridays will be my *free* day (a break from rewriting) to explore the wild possibilities for my new story or anything else I'm working on. It'll be a let-my-creative-crazies-out-of-the-brain soiree. The rest of the week, I will rewrite, redraft, cut-the-crap, bang my head, choke myself, and mark up the pages.

Now, for my conversation with a Really Cool YA Author (RCYAA). Drum roll please...

Okay, honest moment here. It was all in my head, but so profound. I thought I'd share it with you.

Me: "Hey, Really Cool YA Author, guess what?"

Really Cool YA Author: "What?"

Me: *jumping up and down* "I've written a super-awesome YA novel!'

RCYAA: "Really? That's cool."

Me: *thinks to self* Does she have to use the word cool? Oh well, moving on.

Me: "Yeah, I finished it about 6 months ago. I've been letting it breathe. Now, I'm ready to get it published."

RCYAA: "That's cool. What's your word count?"

Me: "It's a bit long."

RCYAA: "How long?"

Me: "117,000 words."

RCYAA: *eyes popping* "Um, you might want to think about trimming the word count down. Have you gone back and read it?"

Me: " Not yet."

RCYAA: "Well, I suggest that be the first thing you do, if you're ready that is."

Me: "Oh, yeah, I will. It's gonna be great. I think the teens will really love it! There aren't many books like it out there."

RCYAA: *smiles* at me, but doesn't say anything.

Me: "Hey, you got any advice for me, like how do I edit it?"

RCYAA: "Edit? I think you should probably read it first. Go through with a red pen and JUST make notes; cut this, add here, not working, awkward word / phrase, move X here or there, check for flow issues, holes in plot, you know, be your own Beta reader."

Me: "Beta what? Like the fish?"

RCYAA: "No, silly. Beta reader, someone who reads your ms for major issues, like I mentioned.

Me: "Oh, I see."

RCYAA: "Consider cutting parts that don't seem to move the plot forward. Don't cut yet, just make a note above the text. This will help you lower the word count."

Me: "But, when do you think I should start submitting to agents? I'm super-uber excited to get it out!"

RCYAA: "Whoa! Preparing a finished manuscript, one that is ready for an agent's eyes, is not that simple."

Me: "Why not?"

RCYAA: *shakes head* "Because, after you read through it once, making notes, then, you have to go back and redraft, not just once, but twice, maybe three times."

Me: *freaking out* "What???"

RCYAA: "And, with each new draft you will be able to enrich the dialogue and the prose, add voice and life to your characters. You'll have the opportunity to really make your story sparkle!"

Me: *chokes self* "Ugh!"

RCYAA: "Promise me you'll not submit the ms to anyone."

Me: *hangs head* "Fine, I promise."

RCYAA: "Cool. Now, get to reading, and call me when you're finished with the first read through, and we'll talk."

Me: "Alright. Oh, and Really Cool YA Author?

RCYAA: "Yes?"

Me: "Thanks."

RCYAA: "Anytime."

I had this back and forth banter over the weekend going on inside my head. I'm thankful to my imaginary Really Cool YA Author. Stay tuned, as I'm sure my RCYAA will visit again, on my 2nd run through of Vinegaroon Moon. Ever have conversations with yourself...or is it just me?


  1. *snigger*

    Tiresome process, isn't it? But oh so much fun in the end... (not that I've managed to get beyond the first re-write of anything).

    Thanks for visiting my blog! And isn't Alex' IWG majorly cool? ; P


    1. Hi, Tessa! Thanks for your visit and comment. :) Tiresome is exactly what it is. I'm beginning to eat, sleep and think *revision*. This morning, I'm up an hour early to work on them. I didn't even have to set my alarm.

      5:00 am, wide awake, thinking of my mc...

  2. Hi there!

    I just wanted to let you know that I left you awards over at my blog!!

    Pop on over and get em' :)

    1. Awe, thanks, Kelley! Heading over now. :)

  3. I love this, so true, and so funny. I think that's the biggest mistake that beginner writers do, it submit when they finish. Instead they need to do lots more crazy stuff.

  4. Hey, Melanie! Nice to see you here. :)) *Shrinks* and to think I entered the first 2,000 words in a contest last fall. What a shame!