Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Layering during Edits and Procrastination

I'm in editing hell. Actually it's not hellish it's just tedious and every hour or so I take a break. Find ways to procrastinate. Moments ago it was IM'ing with Kris Starr. But, I had to go and so went back to my document.

I think I was there 10 seconds when I realized something, hence the blog post and more procrastination, although this might actually be worthwhile.

First round edits that I'm doing right now are actually what I do when I polish up a manuscript. Only I didn't have this handy little document until my editor at Samhain sent it to me. It gets rid of garbage words, helps deepen POV, changes 234 to two three four...you get the idea. BUT, when I sent her this ms and it was accepted, I hadn't done this "first round" on it. So I'm doing it now.

I'm also layering a bit as I go. Most of that falls into the deepening POV category, I guess, really only adds up to a handful of words a page, but over 200 + pages, those words all add up to a couple thousand.

Here's what I've discovered, and it's really quite cool.

When I'm in my hero's pov, I hardly add ANYTHING. The bulk of it comes in my heroine's pov.

Which brings us right back to our earlier discussion on Heroes and what they need to be.

A hero has to act, not react. So if your hero is an action man, how much introspective layering are you going to do? Not much. You might clarify a movement, a tone of voice, a look. But increasing self-awareness? Uh uh. We'll leave that up to the heroine. After all, you're supposed to be in HER shoes, right?

Kate Walker did a short series recently on how not to write a romance novel, and I remember one of the things she said was to make sure your heroes talked like men. Make sure that when you're writing about them your points of reference are male. Men relate to different things than women. And they sure aren't going to analyze things to death like a woman might. Heroes have to be, well, heroic!

In Julie Cohen's Being a Bad Girl, Oz is a therapist so he's a pretty in-tune-with-your-feelings guy...except when it comes to dealing with the heroine. He still acts like a man, still has a raging libido (yeah baby) and isn't quite as self aware as you'd expect. For a guy like that, having a woman get under his skin is fun to watch!

It's well worth a look into your work to see if you do this or not. It's one of those things that I know I've been improving on over the last 2-3 manuscripts. Finding the balance of action/introspection with your hero can take him from slightly boring to a sit-up-and-have-your-hormones-take-notice guy.

Enough procrastinating- back to work!


  1. yInteresting comments, Donna and so true. I try very hard to make sure my heroes sound and act like men. I don't want them to be a bunch of weanies! I need to go read Kate Walker's blog...


  2. Anonymous3:36 p.m.

    This is so interesting, Donna. Did Sahmain send you an editing document?