One of the more difficult tasks is editing your own novel. More than likely you’ve lived with your characters and scenes for years. Changing them may even seem sacrilegious. In the end, you have remember to please the reader and not just yourself. Clarify, clarify, clarify in all you write and edit. That is what I am discovering. Make it as easy as possible for the reader to enter and experience the world of your characters. If you do your job well, they will no doubt see themselves in your characters, your writing.
In my case, it has been more than 12 years since I started writing my novel “Monogamy Sucks” so you could imagine how protective I was of my characters, down to certain phrases they use and the particulars of the scenes they are involved in.
However, my biggest worry was losing the sardonic, humorous, self-deprecating “voice” of my main character Jake Dalmas. It is the real core and driving force of my novel. To lose that I surmised would be akin to losing what is unique about my book.
Well, I needn’t have worried.
Last week I finished the (near final) copy edits for my novel “Monogamy Sucks” for Lazy Day Publishing, @lazydaypub on Twitter. They did a stellar job editing my novel while keeping the edgy, controversial core of my main character, and the bizarre and funny situations he gets into. My publisher asked right questions to enhance and clarify a character’s motivation, piece of dialogue or scene with a goal to always to improve the reader experience.
With each edit, I can see the novel I always hoped I was writing (after all these years of doubts) finally taking shape. Even more gratifying is that the staff at Lazy Day Publishing gets my book — they appreciate the humor and didn’t shy away from supporting the more uncomfortable, controversial scenes.
So much of my original vision for my novel has been retained and even enhanced through my publisher’s careful editing and suggestions. I am still in shock about that after hearing so many horror stories about editor’s and publisher’s butchering controversial books.
Now, we are coming down the home stretch with a little over two months to go until my novel’s December 1 launch. After seeing the amazing cover that Lazy Day came up with (I’ll blog about that soon), I am more excited than ever about the prospects and potential for my novel, Lazy Day Publishing, and its growing list of talented authors.
Look for posts about the ongoing process of turning my novel “Monogamy Sucks” into a published novel.
This is another in a continuing series of posts about the publishing process of turning my second novel “Monogamy Sucks” into an e-book with Lazy Day Publishing on December 1, 2010.
Last week my publisher Lazy Day Publishing — http://www.lazydaypub.com — asked me to write a book dedication. Now, this is not as easy task as it seems. Who do you thank? People closest to you? Writers that inspired you? Do you address the main themes or purpose of your book?
My publisher added to the pressure by saying it is a “big deal.”
You can see the dilemma.
Well, for my first book “Letters From Cyberspace” I chose to thank my anonymous co-author, who gave me her story to turn into a book, and I went on to thank all of the Noelles (my book’s character name) around the world struggling for sexual freedom.
For my second novel, “Monogamy Sucks,” it has been tougher to come up with the right dedication. I have lived with this book for more than 12 years so I have been thinking about this dedication for a long time. It is a very personal story for me.
Still, I wanted to create a dedication that acknowledges my book’s influences while touching on its theme of my character Jake Dalmas throwing off societal restraints to explore a sex life beyond conventional relationships and monogamy.
My first attempt at a dedication was a bit long so I decided to wait a few days before sending it off to my publisher. However, the more I thought about it I realized that my first effort was best.
In the end, I came up with a book dedication that thanked the brave, adventurous souls who have followed their passions despite opposition and societal disapproval, and singled out writers that influenced me, including Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Charles Bukowski and Bret Easton Ellis. I thought my dedication should also address my admiration for the open people who inspired my novel.
I sent my dedication to my publisher today. We’ll see what they say. I like what I came up with. As I am learning, creating a published novel is like building a solid house one brick at a time. All of the bricks — even a dedication — need to be strong and fit with the others (prose, cover, coverblurb, etc.) to create a final impressive book.
Stay tuned for other updates….