VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

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Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Spies and Roofers Don't Do Revisions

What is the hardest thing a spy is asked to do? I know it isn't revision. No one will tap Mr. or Ms. Uber-Spy on the shoulder and tell him/her that he needs to go back to the previous scene where he just killed off a host of bad dudes because well...because really, he should leave one un-killed, to make the future more interesting.

I've heard of this thing called rewriting. You know, when writers take out an entire scene and rewrite the whole direction of their story?

I have never done it.

Of course, I have dumped a page or two because they sucked, but I don't remember ever saying to myself that "this plotline doesn't work, so I'm throwing these 30 pages out and start over." Does writing by the seat of my pants (pantser, they call us in the writing world) have anything to do with it? I don't know, but it does require a lot of trust that somewhere ahead in the book, everything will tie up. So maybe that could be why I'm very unlikely to rewrite whole sections of my book.

As for revisions, I don't do that before the manuscript is sent to my editor either. I do a lot of mulling (read: procrastination) before I write, and when I finish a scene, I'm basically done with it. I might add a sentence here or there when I reread, but again, it's more enhancement than revising. When the story is done, I send it off immediately to my editor, then wait for the revision letter ;-). I have been very fortunate so far--my revisions had never encompassed major rewriting (I've heard stories of authors having to throw out half their books and basically rewrite the entire arcs within their stories...OUCH), only adding certain elements and tightening threads.

Even though I've never done it, I know rewriting would be the hardest thing for me as a writer. To me, it implies that my original vision is faulty, that the characters visiting my head are lying when they tell me their stories. How can that be, my pride argues, since Muse is my guide and Muse can't be wrong?

Because of a page count misunderstanding, my editor took out 60 pages from The Protector and it HURT like hell. I can't imagine the pain if I was asked to throw out, let's say, the whole Dragan Dilaver thread and to make it more urban and American in locale. The writers who make rewriting a daily exercise has my utmost admiration. Because.
I. can't. do. it.

Today I received my revisions for the third SEAL book in the trilogy. I had purposely written it short because of my experience with The Protector. My editor emailed and said she needed me to add more to make page count. Ahhhhh...heaven to me. I can add. No problem with adding subtext and layers. That is pure pleasure.

She also mentioned that of all my books for Avon, this one was the tamest in terms of sexy scenes.
=8-O Oh dear. Can't have that! Note to self: Sex it up, baby! Heh. A whole sexy scene was deleted by my editor from The Protector, so I'd thought I wouldn't overdo it this time. See how wrong I was thinking that this was the correct balance? And how right? Because I certainly don't mind adding more at all.

My uber-spies might save the world several times over, but they don't have to deal with page count and revisions! It just wouldn't do if he loads a weapon, climbs up a wall, jumps through a window, walks fearlessly to the bed, points said weapon...and whooooosh, suddenly, he is back down there on the ground, this time slipping a knife into a holster, he slithers down a rocky cliff, moves stealthily to the encampment, pulls out said knife...whoooosh, let's not have a night kill at all but a day confrontation....not good at all. Uber-spies hate indecisiveness

Now what was the point I was making? Oh yeah...didn't I say somewhere up there that I like to mull (read: procrastinate) before I do any kind of writing/revising? Oh beloved Steve Finley is playing for the Anaheim (re: LA) Angels and he's on ESPN right now. That man needs a lot of my mulling time! Hooyah!

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nightshield2003 said...

I HATE the Angels' new name. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That's just so...awkward. Why do they have to change it anyway? Oh, and Los Angeles translates to The Angels. So they're the The Angels Angels. Doesn't make sense. Whatever. :-p

Does book 3 still have an *awful* title? Well, if it ain't sexy enough, then you gotta sex it up, baby! LOL.

Leslie said...

Oh man, Steve Finley! I didn't know he's with the Angels Angels now--thought he was a Dodger? But daaaaaamn that man is so uberspy-worthy!

Good luck on your revisions...I don't know how you don't mix up all your characters and plots between writing, rewriting, revisions, mulling, blogging, and proposaling (is that a word?). Of course, you're De Uber-Rooferauthor :D :D.

Gennita Low said...

I still don't know a definite title for Book Three. I think they can't believe the title they chose could be that* bad.

As for the Angel's Angels...I remembered reading some reason the owner decided to change to that but it mustn't have struck me as terribly interesting because I can't remember it ;-).


don't you go near my man, Steve Finley. He's mine, I tell you, MINE!


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