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I know some writers dread the revision/editing phase of a manuscript. I actually like it! I know that when I’m finished, the story will be richer and more pulled-together than in the first draft, which is any writer’s goal.
I try to make sure I have enough time between when I finish the book and my deadline that I can set it aside and let it ‘rest’ for a bit in my brain. Two weeks is ideal, but sometimes life happens and I don’t get that full two weeks. When I’m deeply immersed in a story, it’s hard to see it with impartial eyes. But after the resting period, things that don’t work become more clear when I read it through again. And often, too, the muse helps out even when I haven’t begun revising yet! I’ll be in the shower or walking the dog and I’ll have an ah-ha! moment about a scene with a new idea to make it better.
Just prior to sitting down to revise, I pull out two writing craft books I love. One is Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell and the other is Writing The Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. The Maass book asks specific questions, and often finding answers to even just a few of them helps me deepen the story or a character. Then I read through my manuscript from beginning to end, and while I get rid of things here and there, I always end up with a higher word count than the first draft.
I am blessed to have a wonderful agent, Cori Deyoe of Three Seas Literary Agency, who is a former romance writer. Thankfully, she enjoys the editing process. She does a great job finding little spots where a character’s actions don’t ring true for her, or something else that doesn’t quite work. Having that extra set of eyes helps tremendously. Lastly, my editor at Harlequin Mills & Boon, Laurie Johnson, also has a keen eye and her suggestions are always right on target and extremely helpful in the final stage of edits.
I guess the bottom line is that it takes a village for me to write and edit a book! I feel so lucky to have medical experts to consult, great craft books in my library, and great editors to work with.
A family he didn't know he wanted…When ex-flame Dr. Danielle Sheridan arrives at Chase Bowen's African clinic he's captivated by her… and her little son! Three years ago Chase turned down Dani's surprise marriage proposal—their life was just too dangerous for a family—but he didn't know she was pregnant!
Losing Dani once was hard enough. Losing her twice is not an option. Especially when he's already fallen for his adorable son, Drew. Now Chase is determined to make Dani his again—starting with an undeniable acceptance of her three-year-old proposal!
CHANGED BY HIS SON'S SMILE