Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sea Change

I swear I'm not being a slacker.

I've loved my summer, but for seven weeks now I've fretted about not working hard enough on my novel.  I've got a stack of revisions and, today, all the time in the world.  My daughter's at school, my husband's at work, and my son is upstairs sleeping through his last few weeks before college.

It's 8:11 am.  I'm done for the day.

Of course I can write a blog post, and I can work on my latest review for Kirkus.  There's also the breakfast dishes and an awesome pile of laundry.  Plenty of stuff to occupy my time.

I'm not being a slacker.  I worked from 7:14 am until 8:11 am, and in that time, something changed.  The novel shifted.  My editor had wanted some specific alterations in how I portrayed my main character, and when I first read her comments I didn't understand them.  I understood the comments, but I wasn't sure how to apply them.  I didn't quite get why she wanted the change.

Today I got it.  I got it all at once, like someone dumped a big bucket of Get-A-Clue over my head.  I got it, and it took my breath away.  My head is whirling now.  So I'm going to have to take it slow.  I'm at the start of Chapter Ten, and I can see I need to give this some thought.  Step away from the keyboard and think.

This is how I work.  I'm sure it's not how everyone works.  It's not how I work in first draft mode, where what I need to do is forge ahead, regardless.  But just now, in third draft mode--it's time to get the nuances right.

I can't wait to show this book to everyone.   I say this is my third draft, but the first chapter alone took about eight tries to get right.  I love my anxious, courageous Ada.  I love how she forges ahead.

Awhile back, I was asked by Grammarly if I would mention them in my next post about writing.  I wasn't familiar with them so I went online and had a look.  They're a grammar-correcting service, and honestly, they look pretty good.  I'm not anxious about my own grammar yet--I'll take care of that in the copyediting stage, down the road--but I could see Grammarly being pretty useful for college students or professional reports.  (Back when I was a chemist, I loved writing Quarterly Reports--they were so much easier for me than for the other chemists in my group that I got to be Queen for the Day, wandering around, finished with my work, correcting everyone else's.)  I'll show the website to my son, if he ever wakes up today.

This post was sponsored by Grammarly.  It's my first sponsored blog post.  Woo-hoo!