Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Is It Even the Same Book?"

First-round revisions of ZHUKOV'S DOGS were sent back to my editor this morning at 4:30 a.m.

No, I do not sleep. Ever.

Unhealthy insomnia patterns aside, I want to share a story. Since my fiance has been working nights and I days, we rarely see each other. I've been waking up when he gets home around 7:00 a.m. so we can do breakfast/dinner, catch up on the last 24 hours of madness and walk the polar bears. When I mentioned my first-round of revisions were nearly complete he asked:

"Is it even the same book?"

At first I didn't understand, because of course it was the same book. He listed off a few of the revision requests I'd had since the original manuscript was completed, though, and that got me wondering. How much had changed?

I dug through my Zhukov folder (because I am one of those crazy ones that has a folder for everything, and each folder has multiple subfolders) for the original version. The oldest completed version I have is from May 14th, 2012. It was definitely completed at least a month prior to that, but I can't find a specific record. This original version is a modest 85K words in length, lacks two very significant characters, one very crucial plot point, and features multiple scenes that don't actually yield to the overarching story in a profound way. I really loved it at the time, though, and looking back on it makes me all nostalgic. It also helps me see what the fiance was getting at.

The first-round revisions I sent in this morning were more like the sixth-round. Prior to this revision, I hired a professional editor, had a publishing house request extensive revision, received a revision request from my now-agent, and received a minor revision request from my now-house's acquiring editor.

My point: a lot of work goes into a book. All the aforementioned people helped strengthen my book, brought in elements that made it something I can't wait to share with the world, and believed in me. Consider this my informal "thank you for helping me make the same book a billion times better" until the Acknowledgement page is printed.

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