Friday, April 20, 2007

Coffee Break 14

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Elmore Leonard

The man from Del Monte, he say yes...

By which I mean, my editor loves the new book. Hoorah! I had one of the nicest editorial emails ever from her on Wednesday, saying she thinks Book 5 is great - I shan't repeat the words as it seems a bit showy-offy. This isn't always a given mind you: I've had initial emails from her before about first drafts where she's been careful to sound enthusiastic, but has also left me in no doubt that I needed to roll my sleeves up to get stuck into a major edit.

I'll get some notes soon about what she's calling a bit of 'beefing up' and 'fleshing out' here and there (but I'm a vegetarian!) but it doesn't sound major...I hope I shan't suddenly receive 20 close-typed pages of suggestions. Actually, even if I do, I really value this stage in the process. I've spent so long with my story and characters (well, OK, 3 months isn't THAT long but it's been an intense relationship) that I definitely need that outside input to make it all better...

Ironic - or possibly not - that this book has been my fastest (and, to be fair, my simplest in terms of the narrative). Maybe I am learning how to write a novel at last! Though I shan't speak too soon: each book is different, of course, and the next one could just as easily be the equivalent of a difficult grizzly baby, keeping me awake for months and months.

I rewarded myself with cake and a trip to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park which is an astonishing place. Utterly magical. I'd never been there before but I can see it becoming a regular haunt...

So how are you doing, novel racers? Have you had any editorial input yet from editors, agents, and critique partners?

Oh, this is one of those pieces on what gets writers' creative juices flowing...I like Douglas Coupland's most of all.



Blogger hellojed said...

Congratulations Kate. I love hearing good news from writers - keeps me feeling positive!

8:53 am  
Blogger Hera said...

I'm chuffed to bits for you. Racing is the way to go eh!

9:31 am  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Oh well done - how fantastic. Really pleased for you. Hoorah for editors with good taste!

I've had a good writing week - up to 43,000 words on the novel, so it feels like I'm really getting somewhere with it now. I'm going to try to make it to 50,000 by the end of the month. Half way! Can't wait to see that on the old word meter.

Have a good weekend, one and all, and congrats again, Kate. Can't wait to read it.


9:51 am  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Really good news, Kate, that's terrific. I don't think 'spinaching up' and 'carroting out' quite have the same ring, somehow...

I too need outside input because I'VE JUST FINISHED THE SECOND DRAFT OF MY NOVEL (sorry to shout but I'm really REALLY excited) literally two minutes ago *leaps up from desk and runs round in small circles waving hands in the air* and will be sending it off to my readers in the post this afternoon. I know there will be more work to do, but I'm pleased with what I've done so far and I too have reached the stage where I can't get much further without a break from it and some external feedback. Not sure what I'm going to reward myself with, but I'm definitely due some kind of juicy treat in the very near future. Oooooweeee I'm so happy!

10:04 am  
Blogger leatherdykeuk said...

Well done indeed! How superbly encouraging. I estimate another three weeks for the first draft of my novel (it would be two, but the family is dragging me away from the PC next week).

My fastest novel was a 60K whodunnit which took me 32 days.

10:22 am  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Zinnia, that's fab! Well done!!

Rachel - 32 days is incredible. Your keyboard must have been steaming!

10:28 am  
Blogger Novelgirl said...

Well done Kate for the good comments from your editor!

I've had some good feedback for my novel from the people on my writing course whch finished last month - I sent them chapter one and two and they've given me some great encouragement and critisim - which is always good!

Havnt done much this week though as I'm concentrating on the journalistic side of my writing - but hopefully the weekend will bring me some more words on my novel!

See you all next week x

11:20 am  
Blogger Nichola said...

Hello all and well done to those making such great progress! (Unlike me...)

I've been doing a lot more in longhand recently. It makes me think about what I'm writing more; first drafts are about speed for me, second drafts content.

Or maybe I keep re-writing the same bits to delay getting to the submission stage. Self-sabotage, eh?

Anyway...hope you all have a great weekend.

11:40 am  
Blogger Jane Henry said...

Kate, well done on the nice comments from your ed. That must be a great feeling. Before I got a book deal I kept wanting someone just to tell me they LOVED my books, but no one ever did. They haven't quite yet, either, but I live in hope. My agent did say I had made her laugh out loud though...

No more words this week as I am catching up from the holidays, but have been doing some stuff on motivation, and am toying with themes etc. Funnily enough Green Wing has been hugely inspirational....

12:53 pm  
Blogger JJ said...

Well done, Kate. It's lovely to get some encouragement.

We've had family here for two weeks, and this week, I've spent in the recovery position trying to get back to normal! However, the children don't go back to school until Monday, so I've only done the odd thousand words here and there.

I am determined to get on and write next week.

All the best to everyone.


12:57 pm  
Blogger JJ said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:01 pm  
Blogger Helen said...

Hello all. I have hit a wibbly wobbly phase I'm afraid, a bit of a confidence crisis. I am just over 45,000 words which is nearly half way but I'm stressing about all the other writing projects I want to do too (the ones which might start earning me some money!) and those thoughts are interfering somewhat. But heyho, I'll have a weekend off - maybe do a bit of planning on my novel - so that next week I can really go for it.

Well done Kate and everyone else who has done really well this week!

1:32 pm  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Its done!!! 92513 words of very dirty draft to use Kate's description! What a releif as I know will be crashing a a bit in the next few weeks.......

Wonderful to hear your words Kate that your editor loves you new book and that it taken you five books to hear those gives those of us struggling a bit of hope :-)

Huge congrats to Zinnia on completing your major rewrite.

Good luck to all on this coming week and please feel free to indulge in some bubbly tonight on me so to speak as I intend to. It's a funny but good funny feeling to realize that although exteremly rough this is my third complete novel :-)

1:54 pm  
Blogger liz fenwick said...

Just wanted to add what a huge difference it has made to writing this book having the novel racersaround for support! Thanks guys :-)

1:57 pm  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

Liz - well done!!!! Fantastic going. Enjoy your bubbly tonight, you deserve it. CHEERS!!

2:18 pm  
Blogger B.E. Sanderson said...

Kudos to both Liz and Zinnia. :applause: Those milestones aren't easy, and you should both be proud to have reached them.

I've been slowly making progress on both my WIP and my editing of #3. I'm in the process of ironing out some wrinkles in the plot of the WIP, so progress isn't as fast as I'd like, but once I finish with the wrinkles, it'll make the progress fly. I'm hoping to finished with the first draft by mid-May. I should be done with the edits of #3 by the end of April.

Big hugs to everyone for all your hard work.

3:37 pm  
Anonymous Jen said...

Wow, Kate, good on ya! Must be amazing to get such fab feedback after all the hard work.

Huge congrats to Zinna and Liz too... bloomin brilliant!

As for me... um... nothing good to report. Lots ticking over in the head but not a lot making it to the page. Proper timetable needed to schedule in writing time - squeezing it into non-existent spare time is getting me nowhere fast.

You guys are such an inspiration though, thanks!

5:14 pm  
Blogger Kevin said...

Rough week on the writing front. The day job went through a 100% audit -- a pretty intense process since mostly what we do is make sure every scrap of paper we have complies with the conflicting guidelines of state, federal and private sector agencies at the same time. I did not fare too well. Lots of extra time spent fixing lots of little things I should have done right the first time. No one to blame but me.

Current word count is 51,000, which is about 9,000 off where I should be. We'll see what the weekend brings.

My wife Valerie sompleted out taxes for the year last weekend. In going over the budget, she discoered that I could quit my day job and write full time if I just sold four novels a year at the rate I was paid for my first two. Since my current sales pace seems to be one novel every two years, I won't be quiting the day job any time soon. (Much as I'd like to after this week.)

To get back on word-count target I need to produce 14,000 words this weekend. Given it will be two days filled with many family activities, this is not likely. I'm thinking 6,000 between now and Monday morning, then add a few hundred to my usual production every day after and I should make my deadline.

Congratulations to all you novel racers who have finished rewrites and first drafts! Well done.

(Today's security word is "symcc" which is of course a software program that automatically sends carbon copies of every email you write to everyone who has ever sent you an e-mail.)

11:03 pm  
Anonymous Dave Hill said...

Hello! Am I in time for a nightcap?

Congratulations to everyone to whom they are due. I am due none at all, having made no further progress on any of my fiction projects all week. So I've decided to do something rash. More details here:

See you next week!

11:30 pm  
Blogger NoviceNovelist said...

Missed the coffee break due to a fab day out in London but I'm here now foraging for crumbs and what delicious crumbs they are - particularly Liz and Zinnia - fantastic news - well done both of you. I've hit the 60,000 word mark and I'm revelling in a 'honeymoon' phase with my writing - long may it last!

10:59 am  
Anonymous Jojo Moyes said...

Well done Kate! You're too modest though - I would have loved to hear what your editor said.

My editor "loves" my latest - but I suspect I've got the 20 pages of close-typed notes to come, having finally had my "difficult second novel" five books late...

Can't wait to read it

Jojo X

10:25 pm  

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