Hey, campers, I am planning to post another revision-minded discussion of editorial pet peeves later today, but I wanted to give you a heads-up about a really interesting new article by soon-to-be-published debut novelist Julie Wu. It’s focused upon — wait for it — the revision process and bringing a first novel to publication.
Yes, this is a fairly common source of discussion amongst writers, but this article is unusually honest. Stunningly so, on a subject that so often reduces the agented to embarrassed murmurs. Although we writers tend to vent amongst ourselves about how difficult and counter-intuitive the process of tweaking a manuscript to appeal to agents can be– “You want me to change what, First Reader? But that’s the emotional center of my book!” — agented and freshly-published authors seldom talk about how the revision process extends and often intensifies after signing with the agent of one’s dreams. (Frequently engendering the exclamation, “You want me to change what, Agent? But that’s the emotional center of my book!”) In my experience, there is no part of the road to publication that’s easy for the writer.
Which is to say: if, prior to reading that last paragraph, were one of the vast majority of aspiring writers who assumed working with an agent was like tag — once she reads your manuscript and says you’re it, then your phase of running around like all of the other players is over — you might find this article enlightening.
Those of you who would get a kick out of hearing how a hardworking aspiring writer persevering in the face of some pretty discouraging feedback might find it interesting, too. It can be done, people, so keep up the good work!