Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Spells Relief?

I am in that state of mental and emotional exhaustion that signals the end of a manuscript. The baby is ready to be emailed to my editor tomorrow. No more going over it anymore for now. It's leaving my hands and will await the eyes of my editor.

The wonderful thing about the editing and rewriting process is that with each successive reading and the changes that result from it, the stronger the characters' motivations start to come through. Dead wood is removed, things are streamlined.

My mind can now turn to vacation time. Hubby, two of our children, and I are heading to the south of France (from the Netherlands) for a week on the beach!!!! We are looking forward to sun, sun, sun. The Netherlands is a very rainy place.

We were blessed to find an apt. right on the beach at a reasonable price. We'll be half an hour from the Spanish border and will probably drive to Barcelona at the end of the week to visit a family member there for a few days.

My mind can take a break so that when we return I can begin researching my next book, a Victorian set in London.

I'm looking forward to some fun beach reading next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Making of a Gentleman

I have just finished the penultimate read-through of my current WIP: The Making of a Gentleman. Pleeeaaaasseee let them keep my title!!!! It's so right for this story.

This has been a grueling month and a half of revisions and self-edits. For some reason, this manuscript was more difficult to write. Was it because it was my tenth (counting all the unpublished ones snuggled among the dust bunnies) manuscript, or was it because I've just written 3 manuscripts back-to-back as deadlines have gotten closer together?

The fact is that I'm so grateful for my critique partner who pinpointed where the trouble spots in the manuscript were and helped me tighten the story, which at times felt like a great unwieldly lump of clay which refused to take the shape I wanted. Our new buzzword: TENSION!

Another challenge in writing it was the fact that at the end of May I was hit by a car while on my bike. I remember nothing about it except waking up on my back in the street, in terrible pain. I suffered a concussion and lots of facial cuts which have now healed. Anyway, suffering headaches for a month did not aid in the creative process.

The Making of a Gentleman is another regency era story set in London. It involves a 'beast' (as in 'Beauty & the Beast') and an ugly duckling, so I'm not sure what to call that combo: Cinderella meets the beast?