Saturday, February 02, 2008

It Really is a Lot of Work!

Little update . . . I got my first editorial letter on Wednesday!! Hooray! I feel like things are actually moving now! I was very pleased with my ed letter. When you have signed up to write a series--especially a series that is already mapped out--I feel like the first ed letter is even more important than with stand-alone books. With any first ed letter you discover your editor's editing style as well as their precise vision for your book. And you just hope that everything meshes.

With a series you are kind of in a different boat. Everything above applies, but instead of finding out if her vision of the book meshes with yours, you find out if her vision of the entire series matches with yours. And there are, inevitably, changes involved. Will they be the kinds of changes that will make both the book and the series better--stringer? Or are they the kinds of changes that will reverberate through the series and pull down a super-important plotline later on in book . . . say, three?

There's no way to know until you get that letter.

I am happy to say that my letter was awesome. Tara asked some great questions, brought up some extremely valid concerns and then gave a lot of guidance regarding character and pacing. Ten pages. Which is neither long nor short. About average. But it was chock full of great stuff and I really think she is going to help me make this whole series the very best that it can be! I'm very excited.

However, I did have a moment when it really hit me just how much work this revision is going to be and I felt momentarily overwhelmed. And this is just the first revision. There will probably be a minimum of two more before this book goes to copy-edit. (and maybe we'll have a title by then!:))

Folks, it is a lot of work.

Being published is a job. It really is. They don't pay you just because you wrote a cute little story, that's only half of the job. The rest of working on revisions, being available for marketing, doing promotion, etc. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of effort.

And I am totally up for it!!

Now the query recap I promised.

In a query, it's not enough to just tell what your story is about. There a story somewhere that is about the same thing yours is, I guarantee it. But the strength of your query letter (and of your story for that matter!) is finding what makes your story unique and marketable and then highlighting it.

And please do so with correct grammar and eloquent word choice.;)



John Elder Robison said...

It is a lot of work. And once the first book is written, you're going to discover that it takes more time to promote it and talk about it, than it took to write it in the first place.


Lydia said...

Query: It's like The Godfather meets National Velvet, but in the prehistoric Carribbean!

Congratulations on finding such a great editor. :) It may be a long road, but at least you can see it clearly.

cyn said...

this is very exciting! thank you for sharing the process and your journey with us!

Demon Hunter said...

Amazing. Thanks for sharing the process with us, Aprilynne! :*)

Heidi the Hick said...

One of the greatest things about discovered blog world, and all the writers here, is learning the reality of writing. It's so comforting to know what to expect, and that I will never ever get bored doing this, because the work never really ends!

Anonymous said...

very exciting!!! This is great news!
and this is totally unrelated (sorry!)and maybe I've missed it along the way, but do you think you could post the query that got you your agent? I'm sorry if its here somewhere, I swear I've spent time looking and reading but i just don't remember. Thanks, Emily

Mary said...

Not a job for the faint-hearted (or work-shy). Thanks for sharing all this!

Robin L said...

That is one of the best feelings there is, opening your revision letter and seeing that your editor not only gets your story on the same, fundamental level that you do, but that she has some fabulous ideas to make it even better. I love that feeling!

A good editor who is on the same page as you are is worth her weight in gold. Congratulations on having one of these!

And congratulations on your sale. I cannot wait to read these books!

Stephen Prosapio said...

Awesome news and great post!

Michelle Zink said...

Yay! Now you can get back to work!

If you're like me, it's actually a relief to be able to re-focus on your writing. I hated that down time when I had nothing to work on while I waited for my ed letter.

I'm on second pass edits now, and the second letter was MUCH shorter than the first (two pages as opposed to twelve). I've been told this should be the last of the big changes and we should be able to go to line edits after this.

And in the meantime, I'm working on the summary for Book Two. It really IS a never-ending process, especially with a series!

Keep me posted, Aprilynne, and have a great time at your mom's!