Wednesday, June 2, 2010
RO: I delivered the manuscript for Slugfest, book four in the Dirty Business series this week. Yesterday actually. My message to my husband? - "I've heard from your wife and she will be returning shortly."
Needless to say this is my least favorite part of the process. I just hate to give the darn thing up. And the last few weeks are awful. I rarely sleep, I'm constantly rewriting (this may be what Jan has referrred to as the POS stage.)
This time, I'm a little embarassed to admit I stayed in my pajama bottoms for far longer than I should have. (Why change when you're not going anywhere?) My husband has brought me food or stayed away depending on my facial expressions - which are not always easy to interpret so hats off to the man. I did have some book events but I haven't called or email anyone, watched tv, seen a movie, had dinner or drinks with a friend or - sigh - worked in my garden. I was going to treat myself to a Roger Federer match this weekend but dang he lost to Soderling.
My m.o. has been to set up in my livingroom with a large handful of sharpened pencils, my trusty B&N lapdesk and the manuscript and read the thing over and over and over again until they make me give it up. The longer I have it, the more I will rewrite. I know it will be short-lived, but I feel free, like a weight has been lifted. I want to go to Canyon Ranch. Or Italy.
Or just outside to my garden.
What is your homestretch routine like?
RHYS: Congratulations on getting the thing done and mailed, Ro. I write two books a year so there's never much time for reworking. Which is a good thing. Like you, I would go over and over and probably end up by making the thing worse.
I find writing the first draft is the hard part. Until I have the story down on paper, or rather on a computer, and a flash drive in case the computer crashes, and a second computer in case I need to make rewrites and the first computer has died, and stored in cyberspace on Mozy Home, I can't seem to switch off. I drive to the bank and have to pull over and scribble something. I try to drift off to sleep and instead the next scene is playing out in my head.
And there's the constant worry about whether I'll be able to complete the story satisfactorily, whether it will be too short, whether I won't be able to figure out whodunit.
So once a draft is complete, I can breathe again. And I really don't mind the edits. I'm in the beginning stage at the moment, hence the short-tempered panic mode. I'll be off to England and France next month and taking the danged computer with me. Whether I'll get much writing done is a moot point.
JAN: I love that part at the end where you shut down the entire rest of the world and nothing else matters except finishing the manuscript. It's like some sort of Amazing Race episode. Congrats Ro!
RO: I never thought of it as shutting down the rest of the world but I guess I did. A couple of times, Bruce mentioned some bit of news to me and I think I actually said, "I don't know, I'm in Springfield."