Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Catching My Breath - at last!

What I've been reading: Lots of RWA and Emerald City freebies. The Redemption of Matthew Quinn by Katheen O'Brien; Finding Home by Marie Ferrarella;Every Waking Moment by Brenda Novak; Invisible Recruit by Mary Buckham; The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh

What I'm working on: blurbs, dedications and excerpts

Finally a moment to catch my breath. I got my final line edits done well within the deadline, and the editor is happy with them. It's a whole new 'game' - you see comments from FLE and you're sure the reader must have missed something that's plain as day--or is it? Those people get paid to pick nits, and it's a matter of taking a deep breath and accepting that a reader probably won't be reading quite as carefully, so if things are slipping by (like your hero's hair color), then maybe you'd better elaborate, mention it more often, even if you can point to references on three separate pages in the first chapter, and make sure it's as clear to a reader as it is to the image you carry in your head. I know the Pregnant Pigs are laughing and saying, "I told you so!" when they remember how many sessions I drove them nuts trying to figure out whether I was writing it wrong or they were reading it wrong. A little of both, most of the time.

I took "exception" with only one comment, which dealt with the hero's condom stash. If he brought protection with him to the heroine's apartment, but later, they were back at his, it seemed reasonable for him to reach into his nightstand drawer, not his wallet. Guys don't really bring their ENTIRE supply with them on dates, do they?

I adjusted the scene--double difficult since it was in his POV, so he knew darn well where he kept his condoms. My editor seemed satisfied with the compromise, and I learned that it's more important to look at things from directions I never thought existed. Being "right" doesn't matter, like a scene in the hospital where the hero hands the heroine a cell phone and tells her to call her mother. Whether or not cell phones are "allowed" (and the hero was a cop, so nobody was going to confiscate it) wasn't the point. In the scene, we never saw the heroine actually make the call, so I think I got around that one, too. When I was in the hospital, I used my cell phone and nobody cared, although I was in a "regular" room, not the ER or ICU.

With Sarah on her way, I got up the next morning to find Kelli & Blake in my inbox waiting for their first round edits, with a 'within a week, please' message from the editor. Also a note to find more creative words than "damn." I need to expand my profanity horizons, but to be truthful, I think "damn" pops off the fingertips as often as "just". It's my newest search and destroy word.

My contest-winning entry for Wild Rose needed PR blurbs, info sheets and excerpts. Had to deal with those, too.

But now, I think I can take the evening off, and start fresh tomorrow. Will it be with Colleen & Graham, who need advice from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, or Dalton & Miri, who have been stuck in chapter 13 (better than chapter 11, right?) far too long.


Jessica Odell said...

I prefer "right". But I'm picky. And maybe that's why I like to read stories that I don't know TOO much about the particulars...means I won't know if something isn't "right". :)

And as far as I know, guys always have condoms at home if the one in their wallet is useable. If it's 5 years old...then you might worry about the stash at home.

Terry said...

I don't worry about Randy's stash. He's very responsible. He'd have bought new once he knew Sarah was special.