Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Duking it out--through Self-editing and Revision

I do not want to go backwards--on... on... please, let me move forward!!!! But, alas...

Time to go back.

Ugh. Just when I've got my momentum going steady on my new novel I get three professional critiques back on the last one and... looks like I have to do some rewriting. What wonderful critics, though! Their attagirls outweighed their suggestions, bless their hearts. And Heaven knows I needed an attagirl! But EXCELLENCE is the name of the game, boys and girls and, since I'm heading to a conference in September to try and sell the darn thing, I guess I'd best get on it. Sigh.

But I don't wanna. (insert whining tone here). Stick a fork in me, baby (as an old DJ friend of mine used to say) 'cuz I'm done.

Except that... I'm not. I know I've blogged before about rewrites; stated how much "I love this part." And I do... it's just the diving into it that I'm not all that flipped out about at the moment. I'm so involved in my new characters, my new story, that going back feels like some sort of dream-sequence/deja vu. On past projects I've always edited in a fluid "finished with draft 46 and now moving right into draft number 47 now" sort of way. Now I've got to open up that closed book (which, by the way, was at draft number 317 or there about before I even sent it off to be critiqued) and dive in brain first.

But I want it to be excellent. Really, I do. I'm studying the craft, getting better, asking the questions, and sending it out there FOR CRITICISM--and now it has come; so get after it, I will.

Subjects and characters in this about-to-be-overhauled novel, Suspended in Disbelief, push the envelope of what is acceptable in Christian fiction. And I want it to. I don't want to pander to the legalistic, plastic, and just plain ICK pollyanna stereotype of the post-salvation feminine believer in Christ. I wanna show the blood and guts of duking it out--and sometimes losing a battle--with temptation. And the consequences. I truly feel called to show that side of life. Cuz it's my side of life.

So now I'm going to get in there and make it BETTER for them-- for the other Christian women out there who need a fresh picture of what Mercy looks like after Grace has been received. I'm gonna make that first scene pull them in and grab them harder. I'm going to make my conflict stalk through the story like a lion--roaring, sneaking, pouncing, and roaring some more. I'm going to take scenes which were little more than vehicles and turn them into device-obliterating MAGIC. And when I'm done with that, I'm going to take an ending that might just be too "neat" and make it a little messier. The gloves are coming off, baby--so stand back!

So there is my rambling blog for the day. Now I'm going to go beat the tar out of my manuscript and see who survives the day.