Helen Lacey on Revisions and Giveaway!

Let's welcome author Helen Lacey...

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I love revisions. There, I said it. And I love edits. What I love though, is seeing the finished product, watching the manuscript polish into something that will be turned into a book. When I start a new story I open a fresh folder in my word program, and by the time that book is finished and published I could have twenty separate files in the folder all pertaining to that book. The first version of my current release from Harlequin Special Edition, Date With Destiny, read very differently to the finished product that just hit the shelves.

When I send a proposal/book to my agent it then goes to my editor and once it’s away I usually start the next project while I wait for the edits to come back. I know some authors who go into a kind of ‘panic’ mode when the edits arrive, but for me it’s a signal that it’s one more step in the process to getting the book in print and into the hands of readers.

The first thing I do is read through the notes and then transfer any major plot /character changes to a spreadsheet  which I pin up near my computer so I can keep checking and ensure I stay on the right track. I should say that I’m not a plotter’s bootlace and tend to just start with the characters and an idea of the story and start writing, so the editing process is often a challenge for my right brain thinking. I’d also like to say that I take it slow and steady…but the truth is, edits are usually partnered with a deadline and often the luxury of time isn’t an option.  What I do ensure I do is cross off on my spreadsheet each time I’ve worked through the suggestions – there’s satisfaction in striking things off a ‘to do’ list.

The thing to remember is that edits are there to improve the story, not sabotage it and I made the decision from the time of my first published book to not get precious about changes that needed to be made. I trust my editor completely and if she suggests that a character’s name needs to be changed, or a plot device isn’t working, I’ll adjust it accordingly.

So, embrace edits….and know that they are going to make your great story even better.

To celebrate the release of Date With Destiny I have a copy to give away to one commenter.
 

 Financier Grace Preston did fourteen-hour days in New York City. She didn't do small towns in Australia. Not since she'd fled almost twenty years ago. But when a personal trauma sent her home-with a secret she couldn't reveal-the last person she needed was her first love.

 Local cop Cameron Jakowski had loved Grace for most of his life. But he wanted marriage and family and she didn't. He was small town, while she was big city-and lived half a world away. But for now she was right here-a walking, talking temptation. One he managed to avoid...until he made one mistake. He kissed her. And reawakened the passion that could change their lives...forever.

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To celebrate the release of Date With Destiny I have a copy to give away to one commenter.
 
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31 comments:

  1. Congrats, Helen! And that's a great way of looking at edits/revisions.

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    1. Hi Cherie - I think a positive outlook always makes things easier :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I agree that it's satisfying to cross things off your to-do list. :)

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    1. Hi Kelly - yes, lists are great. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. Perfectly timed post. I'm just about to start revisions.

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    1. Hi Stina - good luck with your revision :)

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  4. Congratulations, Helen, on your new release.

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    1. hi Armchair Squid (love that) - thanks for stopping by today.

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  5. It sounds like writing and editing is a breeze for you. Congratulations on another book. The plot has that promise of..... "Will love win out?"

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    1. Hi Manzanita - I think it's just that I love every part of being an author...thanks so much for stopping by and commenting :)

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  6. All the best for Date with Destiny Helen. I love editing too, but get a bit carried away as my story is never perfect enough, lol!

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    1. Hi Denise - I feel that too...but I think most authors do :) Thanks!

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  7. It took me a while to learn to love editing, but now it's a genuine love. Like you said, it's all about the end product.

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    1. Hi Lynda - how wonderful that you love editing now. And yes, the end book is what counts :)

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  8. Helen, your revisions sound so organised! I tend to dive in Edward Scissorhands-style and chop everything to pieces :-)

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  9. Hi Annalisa - I have to be organized with revisions/edits because I generally have a muddled mind :)Edits are my only chance to use the left side of my brain :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. I agree that edits are there to improve our work and not destroy what we've already written. It's all part of the creative process, even if it does involve heavy use of the delete key.

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    1. Hi Patsy - well said! I think that's the key to not stressing about them :)

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  11. Dena Demiro1029@aol.com8 August 2013 at 05:24

    I'm so happy to hear so many like editing as much as I do!

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    1. Hi Dena - it's a happy club! Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Hey, Helen. I don't see you ever getting precious about the non-essentials but I'd love for you to remember that you are a writer, independent of anyone else. An editor *edits* what you've written. A publisher *publishes* what you've written. An agent *agents* it and a reader *reads* it. But all of them lose their function without you. So basically take input but also weigh it with the knowledge that no one knows the characters better than you. And, hey, a name is not inconsequential.

    Two cents.

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    1. Hi Suze - thanks for sharing your thoughts and dropping in today :)

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  13. I enjoy revising, too. Especially as I get closer to the end and it starts to look like something good. :)

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    1. Hi Rachel - yes, that's how I feel too. There's great satisfaction is getting it 'right'. Thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  14. I enjoy revisions, too. In fact, I like them better than getting the first draft out, because once I'm revising, I know the story, and all my work is going toward trying to improve it.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth - yes, exactly, well put. It's making it the best it can be that I enjoy. Thanks for commenting. :)

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  15. I'll admit, I'm a bit in awe of the spreadsheet thing--far more organized than I'll ever be! I do like revisions though, just not as much as drafting :) It's great to see a story really come together!

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    1. Hi Meradeth - the spread sheet is probably the only organized part of my writing process.:) Thanks for stopping by and sharing today.

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  16. What a wonderful post! I like to think of editing as polishing and shining up the MS. :) I am glad to hear that Helen sees a big difference between her first draft and the book that hits the shelves. I especially liked hearing how she goes about her edits. Wishing her the best of luck! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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  17. Hi Jess - so pleased you enjoyed the post - and I think you're right, it is about polishing and making it the best possible book it can be. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  18. Love that phrase, a plotter's bootlace. I've got to start enjoying the editing process more!

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