Friday, July 30, 2010

How do you Celebrate?

Since I’m not at Nationals (boo!) this week I’ve been working my tail off to finish editing a paranormal single title I’ve been toiling away on since March. For the purpose of this blog I’m going to call it ‘Alpha’. That’s technically almost five months since I started it right at the beginning of March and it’s now almost August (How has the year flown by so fast??). Normally I finish stories a lot faster than this. Probably because I’m normally a lot more focused! Why the delay?

Mid-March I pulled out an older manuscript to edit so I could submit to Carina Press (which I just contracted with them so yay on that!). After that I dove back into this story until the end of the month. I was picking up serious momentum when right about the beginning of April I got an R&R from my editor at Ellora’s Cave. She liked a story I’d submitted not long before but wanted some changes before she offered a contract. So…more edits (which she thankfully ended up approving). Once that was done I tried to get back into Alpha, but something wasn’t clicking. Another (older) manuscript called my name with frightening intensity so that’s right, I tore that thing apart and got some serious editing done. Right after I sent that baby off to my agent is when I went through the ‘big move’. I didn’t write for a week or so b/c of packing, moving, settling in, etc. But, as soon as I settled in I started right back on Alpha. It was calling my name again! I only got to work on it for two freaking days. That’s it. I got a call from my agent that she liked the story I’d recently sent but wanted some edits (more than I’d imagined…some plot issues) before she submitted it. Ahh, more edits. I swear, this has been my life this year. In the midst of those edits I did sneak in a little bit of new writing on Alpha and even started on the fourth book in my Miami Scorcher series (b/c obviously I wasn’t distracted enough). Finally at the beginning of July I ‘finished’ Alpha.

If you’re like me just because you’ve reached ‘the end’ doesn’t mean it’s truly the end. I know a lot of people don’t but I edit as I go, then once I’m done I read through it a couple more times for some more editing. But, I like to put a story down for a couple weeks before that final read through so my eyes truly are fresh. So, last Friday I picked it up again and I’ve added about 5K of emotions, more use of the five senses, etc. and basically gotten rid of the extraneous crap. As of late Wednesday night I finally typed ‘the end’. For real this time.

So how did I celebrate? By cleaning! I don’t care if it’s lame but yesterday I cleaned my house from top to bottom and even got in some extra exercise time. The man can always tell when I’ve completed a story because when he comes home there’s no dust lining the bookshelves, the wood floors shine beautifully, the laundry and dishes are put up and I’ve usually bought a pricier than normal bottle of wine.

What do you do to celebrate little victories or accomplishments in life? Doesn’t have to be writing related!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Terry Odell said...

Well, I definitely don't clean! When I finished my first draft of my first MS, I went through a post-partum depression. Although I love being done, it's always bittersweet, because I hate saying goodbye to the characters. (Which is probably why I write sequels and connected books!)

Savannah Stuart said...

Lol, Terry. Yeah, I think I might be in the minority with the cleaning thing. It's just so therapeutic :)

Kaylea Cross said...

Hey, Savannah! Wow, talk about busy. I hear you on the cleaning thing, because I love a sparkly clean house too. Have to say though, I'd probably hire someone to give the place a thorough scrub to celebrate, rather than do it myself. And I'd definitely treat myself with something fattening that invovled dark chocolate :)
Keep us posted on the status of those manuscripts, and let us know the instant they sell.

Savannah Stuart said...

Yum! Dark chocolate. I won't say no to that either :) You better believe I'll keep ya updated!

Cara Bristol said...

To celebrate, I will sometimes buy myself something that I've been wanting. If I've finished a project, I will allow myself a day of downtime, a day of vegging.

BTW, I enjoyed reading about your "layering" process of writing/rewriting. I found that I have to add emotion during the rewrite stage as well. The first draft for me gets the basic story lined up. Then I go back and dress it up.

Savannah Stuart said...

I agree, downtime is so important! I like to veg out and watch older episodes of Burn Notice for hours :) I'm glad you enjoyed the layering process. People who add all that emotion as they go impress me!

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm tired just reading about the edits! I do it all the same way, but not so many at one time. Outside life just won't allow it.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Savannah!
Congratulations on the contract with Carina Press!! Whoo-hoo!! I just grew exhausted--and really ashamed--reading your post! I need to get to work! LOL! I'm sending you a cyber high five on all the work you're putting in! It's kind of selfish too, because now I know I have more Savannah Stuart books to be read!

Speaking of reading, that's how I celebrate finishing a book. Reading! Because while writing I don't get to do nearly as much of it as I want, I treat myself to several books and plow through 'em!
Great post and again, congrats!!!