Writing Through

I posted this as a sequence of Tweets and wanted to log it here as well.


Finally printed out my 4 single spaced pages of note from 2 hour phone call with my editor. I added these notes to the 20 page edit notes she subsequently emailed me (but which she had already written before she made the phone call).

This is the glamorous writing life, people. An editor who makes you dig and dig and dig is a treasure.

I wrote the bulk of BLACK WOLVES (my new epic fantasy) after my father died last fall because I had to do something. The 1st draft is a mess. In fact, I spent much of the time writing it wondering if I should just dump the whole idea, or dump writing in general. But I couldn’t stop. Stopping would have been like dying. Or like facing grief.

I forced myself through to a 200,000 word first draft because I had to, whether I kept the story or not. Because I knew I couldn’t trust the negativity in my head. I had to get it out regardless of the end result.

When I finally sent it to my editor I didn’t know if she would say, “Um, can we start over?” OR “Okay, let’s dig in.”

She said, “DIG IN.”

Sometimes being told you have work to do is the best gift someone can give you. Because it means the work is worth doing.

2 thoughts on “Writing Through

  1. One thing that I really admire about your work is that it’s always so well-polished. The writing, itself, is beautifully transparent; I’m always able to stay “in” the story.

    There are some authors I read (and love!) for their stories, but whose writing occasionally kicks me back out into reality to think “Either the editor let this writer down, or s/he wasn’t paying enough attention to the editor’s advice.” (From the outside, there’s no telling which.)

    That doesn’t happen with your books.

    If you skipped the editing process entirely and published your first drafts, I would read and love them for the stories. But as you’re working through revisions on Black Wolves and proofing Court of Fives, I thought it might be an encouraging time to mention that all your hard work really does pay off for your readers. –Thanks.

  2. Thank you so much.

    I will say that, for me, writing clean, clear prose does not come naturally. I have to work hard to clear away the first draft thickets of convoluted phrasing, jerky through-lines, and too many details, so I am so glad to hear that it reads well!

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