Girls Write Out
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's deadline week. There's little time for email, internet surfing, or extra things like laundry and dinner. Kevin asks why I can't hire out some of the work after the first draft is done.

I look at him like he's crazy, because this is my favorite part of the job. The first draft is done. All the scenes are there. The characters are fleshed out, the plot makes sense, and the setting is well-drawn. The HARD PART is done!

But now . . . now I get to perform liposuction! No, not on my thighs (sadly), but on my sentences. I get to suck out every last word that's not pulling its weight (cheaper, easier, and less painful than real liposuction). Can I make this ten-word sentence a seven-word sentence? Yes, I can! Can I lose this prepositional phrase without changing the sentence's meaning? Yes, I can! Every sentence is a challenge, every deleted word a thrill! I'm as excited to be alive as Colleen. Oh, happy day!

Sadly, the favorite part of my job lasts only four days, but my story is 1600 words shorter and 100 times tighter. I feel great satisfaction and a wonder of accomplishment. Hire this part out? Rob myself of the challenge and thrill? Not for all the truffles in the world, baby.
Denise Hunter  
posted at 3:45 AM  
  Comments (17)
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At 8:29 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh man, I'm soooo with you, D!! My book is due the 1st too. This is so fun!

Poor Kevin, he was trying. What's next though--suggesting you let the editor make the revision changes? My heart fails at the thought that anyone might snatch away my joy. LOL

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

In Kevin's defense, he was speaking from the standpoint of a business owner. He HAS to delegate. LOL P

Not only would hiring out the editing deprive me of all the fun, but I can't imagine handing over that much contol over my story!

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Well and also in Kevin's defense, having someone write a letter for him is far different from a creative novel. LOL

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

I, too, love the editing part. In fact, I have to force myself NOT to edit when I'm in the draft mode. It's hard. I keep going over the pages I've already written and tweaking them here and there. It gives me a thrill.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Kayla said...


ALL of the truffles in the world?!

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

That's right, Kayla, there are NONE left for you! We're selfish pigs when it comes to our truffles. LOL

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Truth be told, Kayla, it's not truffles that have me under their spell. It's the dark chocolate raspberry candies from Debrand. Notice I didn't offer to deny myself those.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Wow, I must be wierd. Not that I'm published or anything, but I absolutely HATE editing the books I'm trying to get published. I'm all into the creative side and editing to me just seems like I'm taking a hacksaw to a DaVinci painting. Well, that sounded lofty - I'm not comparing my measly writing attempts to DaVinci by any means, but you get my point. I like living in the imagination of the first draft and once the story's done, well, it's time for another one. i don't want to reread everything! :)

... and this is probably why i'm not published ... LOL!

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh you're looking at it wrong, Jaime! The editing part can be the most creative. You've got the bare bones, now you have to put flesh on them. Turn that lump cellulite into smooth, beautiful flesh.

This is your chance to make every bit of dialogue tell something about the character. The chance to up the conflict and even add scenes and new twists that occur as you're editing.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Hmmm ... good points, Colleen. I shall have to revisit. I think partly when I revisit I see how much it stinks and then I lose heart.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

We all feel that way, Jaime. LOL And then we just realize we're adding perfume. . . LOL

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

LOL. Perfume. I like that! I have a whole new perspective on editing now! :) Bath and Body Works for Books!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Now there's a workshop title if I've ever heard one!

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

The Ezekiel method? LOL I've thought about doing a workshop with that title. LOL

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm not big on editing. Only because I have looked at the book so many times before it goes off and then, it's not going away for several more run-throughs. I have to make a spa appt at the end to reward myself. Are you noticing a running theme?

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I love the editing part, too. The rough draft is so hard. I find myself editing as I go, and have to lock my inner editor in the bathroom so my muse will come out.
They hate each other and I have to play referee. Blech.

At 9:13 PM, Blogger Gina Holmes said...

Editing is the fabulously decadent desert I get to enjoy after I choke down my vegetables! Maybe I'd be a happier editor than writer, don't know.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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