Formerly Blogless

True confessions of a girl who writes dirty books--and loves it!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Perfection is Attainable

Right? Or not. As my current heroine, Anna (pictured left) very pragmatically points out, if perfection is unattainable, why do people keep striving for it? It must be possible to achieve, or else there's no use in trying for it.

So that's my working hypothesis (thanks, Anna!), as I begin revising my first ever completed manuscript. I read through the whole thing over the last two days, and let me just say, it's definitely NOT perfect yet. I have seven pages (single-spaced) of revision suggestions for myself. I'm approaching it like one of the manuscripts I used to edit, when I worked at Berkley. I printed out a hard copy, and read through it fast, making no marks on the pages, but writing down every idea that came into my head as I read, along with the page number the idea came from. For instance:

p.123--Anna has to think of Jack sooner. Kissing after danger is all well and good, but her brother is still in trouble.

p.129--Nix the Yoda talk.

And bigger things:

p.263--This setup isn't great. Everyone leaves the kitchen, just so Anna and Cal can go at it on the table. Think about inserting a new scene to round out Eli's character, and to discuss his background with Evangeline. It should be a bridge between the war council scene and the hot demon sex scene.

Now my plan is to go through the ms on the computer, and attend to all of these suggestions, along with the millions of small word changes and clarifications that jumped out at me while I was reading, but which I didn't write down because I assumed they'd bother me a second time through. And I will done with all of these revisions by August 24, so my lovely, generous readers can see draft #2 and make comments on it, in time for me to incorporate their brilliant ideas before sending the ms out to agents at the beginning of September.

That's my timeline, and I'm sticking to it. I have to, now that I've made it public. See? Another great reason for blogging. Why did I fight this for so long?


At 11:54 AM, Blogger MariaGeraci said...

You are my inspiration...

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Mel Francis said...

you give meaning to my life...

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Flynn said...

Wow, I know some authors sketch their main character, but rarely with such precision! You are one Photoshop wiz! At first I thought that was just a photo you pulled off the internet, possibly of a soap opera actress.
I think I'm too neurotic and self-critical to keep a revisions list like yours. My notes would be like:
p. 104--This scene is neither funny nor interesting. Axe it, and then come up with something brilliant to fill the plot hole.
p. 128--Another atrocious scene. Apparently asking you for something brilliant is too much to ask, self, since even "dimly lit" seems beyond your grasp.
p. 133--Wow. Keep the day job, bucko.
It would all end in a bonfire. Sadly, this is just more evidence of how much saner you are than me.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger MarlyMathews said...

Hi Louisa,

Welcome to the blogging world!

Great pic of Sarah Joy Brown...did you see her in Big Mama's House II?


At 5:39 PM, Blogger Louisa Edwards said...

Hey Marly!
No, I didn't see that one, but I loved SJB on General Hospital a million years ago. Her face always kind of stuck with me.

At 2:56 AM, Blogger KimAmburn said...

Congrats on starting your blog! Keep us posted on your revisions - we'll keep you accountable!

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Jenna Mayson said...

I was wondering who that actress was - great headshot!

and great organization Louisa. Damn I'm impressed!

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Nephele Tempest said...

Hmmm... is it giving too much away to say I took one look at this photo and said, "The Real Carly!" *ducks head* I'm beginning to suspect we have way too much overlapping history, Louisa.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Debra Parmley said...

So I'm curious... do you turn off the editorial side when you write that first draft or is it constantly with you with each word you write?


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