Monday, 9 August 2010



Before moving on in earnest with FrostFire Book Two I decided to print out, re-read and revise Book One, so that a) I'd have a much firmer idea of the choices I needed to make for the second book and b) I can let my editor have a more-or-less completed ms and she can see that there is method in my madness. Chances are that in the writing of the second book things will change anyway - they nearly always do - and I'll still have to go back and tweak Book One a bit to match. But of course my editor will be ripping the ms to pieces anyway, in her own inimitable style, so those extra changes really won't matter.

Seems like a sound idea, doesn't it?

So why am I paralysed with fear? Why I have I wasted my entire day on procrastination so obvious that even my dog is giving me knowing looks? Why, every time I pick up the folder with the print out of FrostFire Book One inside, do I shudder and groan and put it down again and run away?

I can't figure myself out. Normally I *like* revising. However, if I force myself to examine this sudden burst of stage fright with some attempt at objectivity, I can pin down several worries that are sniggering and pointing fingers in my brain.

  1. The traumatic time I had revising Shadows on the Moon, where I had to scrap a huge part of the story and re-write from scratch. I can still remember the sickening realisation of how flat-out BAD my whole opening section was. I'm expecting it to happen again. I'm expecting it to be worse this time. Eeek.
  2. I read some awesome, epic YA books this last week. My stories don't have the larger than life, cast of thousands quality of say, The Mortal Instruments Trilogy, even though I love to read books like that. So I always end up sighing over them and feeling inadequate and intimidated and wondering why all my stories seem so small in comparison.
  3. This is my first book written as a full-time writer, sitting in my Writer's Cave day after day and steadily plugging away, rather than writing in fits and starts and bursts of inspiration. I'm afraid my work will have lost something in consequence.
  4. This is the first book of a series. All my books have been standalone before. Even if it is only a two book series, I'm unsure how to handle revising a story that is, in essence, incomplete.
I can probably come up with three or four more, but you get the idea. Writer: thy name is neurosis.

The Folder of Doom is beside me now. It's looking at me. I can't tell whether the look is pleading or mocking but in the end it doesn't really matter. Yes, I may have whittered my day away, but I know that I have a job to do here. I cannot allow myself to be defeated by this. I'm going to open that sucker up and I'm going to get out my post-its and my red pen and I'm going to REVISE. just a minute.


Megha said...

I'm guessing you need a break; Shadows on the Moon must have been tiring. Why don't you read another book for a while, and come back to The Folder of Doom later?
Go on - revise (pleaseeee). I want more books coming out of you! I've just finished Daughter of the Flames, and after reading it I have become so angry at you!
I'm kidding. I just want you to write more books. PLEASE! Your books are amazing. Fabulous. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

No, seriously. Just relax for a few days (or however long you want) and go back to all of this business.

And don't worry about me.
If you need me, I'll be in the corner suffering no-book-ness from my favourite author.


Zoë Marriott said...

Thank you for your enthusiasm, Megha! Don't worry, I was on the case today, groaning and grinding my teeth the whole time, and covering pages in red pen. I shall not be defeated by the Folder of Doom.

Anonymous said...

Yipee! Go Zoe!

Anonymous said...

have you ever gone to robin mckinleys website and read her blog? it might make you feel better that she goes through this with every book lol. you will get there :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Yes, I love Robin McKinley - I read her blog religiously. It is comforting to know that others struggle too, definitely; but it doesn't make my manuscript in its current form suck any less, or show me how to fix it. That's something we all have to work through alone. *Sigh*

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