Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Writing vs. Revising from Marta Perry

Someone recently commented to be about how easy it is to get a book into print these days...the implication being that all it involved was sitting down in front of the computer for a few hours! We all know better, right?

At the current moment I am simultaneously writing an Amish Christmas novella for Love Inspired and revising HOW SECRETS DIE, the latest in my suspense series for HQN Books. As I bounce back and forth, trying not to lose momentum on the novella while I revisit the suspense story, it occurs to me that anyone who thinks this is easy hasn't tried it!

That said, I do love the revision process. My editor has a gift for finding exactly the spots in the manuscript that need attention. And better yet, she leaves the fixes to me. Which brings me to the point: good novels aren't written--they're rewritten. Again and again, sometimes.

I've heard writers moan and groan about revisions, and I confess that sometimes I'm the one doing the groaning. But usually I welcome the chance to go through the manuscript just one more time in the constant pursuit of a perfection that probably can't ever be achieved. I have such a wonderful vision of the book in my mind before I start a project. Then I start writing, and with every word I put down I'm falling just a little short of that image. If I ever produced something I was completely satisfied with, I'd know I was ready for therapy!

HOW SECRETS DIE will be out in April through the combined efforts of the writer, the editor, the copy editor, the art department, and who knows how many more people. My name may be the only one on the cover, but I couldn't have done it without a lot of help, including my husband, who knows just when to say he'll fix his own supper!

All the best,


Keli Gwyn said...

Marta, like you, I'm grateful for my editor's suggestions and insights. It's not always easy opening a set of revision notes and finding out how much work awaits me, but I welcome the opportunity to make my stories the best they can be.

Sally Shupe said...

I find it easier to go back through a story to edit than to sit and start a story sometimes. It's easier to edit what's already there lol. Thanks for a great post!

Jackie Smith said...

How Secrets Die sounds sooo good.....can't wait to read it!

Hi Jennifer and all!

Jennifer said...

Hi Marta, Keli, Sally and Jackie, How are you sweet ladies doing? I'm truly grateful as a reader of hard you work on your books and I can tell by how good the books are! Thank you ladies! Jenny

Sally Shupe said...

Hey Jenny!! How are you? We are still digging out from the snow storm lol, but I am anxiously awaiting the next one!! I love snow. Did you get much from the snow storm last weekend?

Jennifer said...

Hi Sally, We had one bad day and got about 10 inches. I'm glad you got your snow! Jenny