Monday, January 08, 2007

Langkawi Island and the writer

Langkawi is on the west coast, up near the Thai border, a scatter of islands across a green sea. It's supposedly named after the Brahminy Kite or Helang Kawi. Hence the statue.










Here's the hotel and the chalet where we stayed; the other photo is me hard at work...now that's desperation. Er, dedication.

My agent and my editor both want changes to The Song of the Shiver Barrens. Which means I am going to be flat out for the next month. Don't expect too much civility from me for a while...I have a deadline. They call 'em that for a reason - ultimately, if you don't meet the final one, you're dead.

This is actually a new process for me. Usually my MSS are accepted with a minimum of changes, so I have been spoiled. But this book suffered from being written in too short a time.

For the curious - how much notice does an author tale of editorial suggestions?
Answer: a lot, if you are wise. They know a lot more than you do about what appeals and what doesn't work, believe me.
What if you don't agree?
You discuss it. And you listen. Hard. Ultimately, if you already have a contract, your decision will be the final say, and what you write will be published. An author can't - or shouldn't - compromise their integrity, that I do believe, but I also believe that an author who won't at least listen and think about requested changes is an idiot.

I have usually found this: when an editor says something needs changing, they are probably right. However, when they suggest HOW it should be changed, they don't necessarily proffer the best solution. You are the writer; solutions are your job.

And right now, I'm hunting solutions. So if I don't write over much on the blog, or don't comment on the comments, you'll know why - but never fear; I always read everything everyone says, and I appreciate the time you all take to say stuff.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOL!

As someone who suggests changes I keep my editorial hat on until the moment I come up with an idea on how to make the change, then I rip the E hat off and put the writer hat on.

Seems to be working so far!

And having devoured Shadow of Tyr on Christmas Day I can only say get those changes done fast, lady! I'm hanging out for the third book!

Barb

KarenEMiller said...

Everything you say is so true. Even when it hurts like hell, you have to listen when you're told what's not right. That's one of the many reasons I admire you so much -- how open you are to input and critique.

All the best on the rewrite. Having just finished my mammoth rework from 2nd to 3rd, I can say with utter honesty, I feel your pain. *ggg*

So looking forward to it. Loved the finished version of Shadow of Tyr.

Satima Flavell said...

It seems all writers hit this one sooner or later, Glenda. I've seen two or three others gobsmacked when, sometimes after several books have been published, the agent or the publisher says "No, no, that's not what we wanted".

But you will do the rewrite and do it supremely well, of that I'm certain.

Nil bastardi carborundum(g)

hrugaar said...

I bow to your humility. Hang in there. Thinking of you. :o)