Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Monday, 28 May 2012

pillow talk :: revisions :: what mine are


Revisions from my editor for my latest book have arrived, and as a lead up to the workshop on revisions I am fronting at this year’s Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast, I thought I’d talk you through my process.

This book is known to me and you as THE BLONDE BOMBSHELL (referred to by my editor as “PAIGE & GABE”, which is a good hint the title won’t stick ;)).  My editor loves the story calling it a "contemporary, sparky and a fun, sexy, entertaining read" which I'll take any day of the week!  She loved my heroine, not a thing to touch there, thought the hero "oozes raw and masculine sexiness" and the heroine's side-story with her best friend is perfect.  Yay!  Because I loved that too.

The three things that  I've been told need a little work are:

1.      Developing the hero’s character and conflicts

I don’t have a beta reader of any description.  No critique group or partner.  My editor is the first one who sees the thing after me.  And by the time I’ve spent months grappling with a story, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.  I know his issues, I know his pain, but have I put it on the page with enough subtlety so as to herald problems without hitting readers over the head with it, or has my hand been too sleight?  The latter as it turns out ;).

2.      Developing the resolution turning point to maximize emotional potential.

I’m never hard enough on my characters.  Never.  I like them or I wouldn’t write about them!  So even while I know that the more they have to overcome to be together, the richer the pay-off at the end, I always seem to hold back.  Until my editor gives me a nudge, which always somehow feels like permission to tear their hearts out!  Poor loves.

3.      It’s too long. 

Again no surprise there!  I always write long.  Just the way I go about it.  This book came in at 72,000 words done.  I managed to edit it down to 57,000 before sending it in.  The final word count ought to be between 50-55,000.

So that's the gist of this current set of revisions.  To the writers among you, do you think those suggestions might apply to your work in progress? 

Next in this Pillow Talk series I'll talk about where I go from here.

 For a more in depth analysis of the manuscript revising process, I'm heading up a workshop at the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast this August entitled REVISIONS: REWRITING, EDITING, PROOF-READING...OH MY!  Conference details at the RWA website here.

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