Monday, September 13, 2010

Modern-Day Revisions

A lot of people have been writing me to ask when the next book in the vampire princess of St. Paul series will be coming out. Answer: I still don't know exactly. It's on my contract somewhere, but I have no idea where my contract is right now other than "in the house." (My filing system leaves a lot to be desired.)

But I do know that the second book is coming along. On Friday, I got what used to be the "editorial letter." Now, it's an email that has a couple of macro comments as well as the manuscript marked up (line by line) by my editor.

Way back in the early 90s when I started my life as a professional writer, I used to get an email with notes like "pg. 145, second paragraph, which begins 'Once upon a time...' change to be less cliche?" Having the actual manuscript with the comments function turned on makes the process more convenient and, strangely, a heckuva lot more work.

I'm sure it wouldn't seem like more work to a writer who has never experienced any other method, but I find that I tend to feel compelled to respond to the comments. I end up doing it, because it's a simple click and type, and, suddenly, end up writing a mini-thesis on my word choice decisions, characterization, etc. In short, I'm a much bigger diva thanks to the convenience of technology.

It the early days, I would grumble quietly to myself and either make (or not) the changes while going over the entire novel.

Now, I find I flit right to the next comment and not re-read the whole thing. (I tend to skim the bits that aren't marked-up.) That targeted revision is the quicker, more convenient part, at least. But, as you can tell, I worry that I'm not nearly as thorough as I used to be.

Technology is a weird thing. It's such a lie that it makes our lives easier. Busier, yes, but easier? I'm not convinced.

No comments: