Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pass the Syrup!

When I sold my book to Penguin, the editor made it clear there would be significant revisions. I got my first revision letter, which had several requested changes and dug right in. No biggy, I thought.

Then the second letter came. 5,000-words of doom. I'll be posting about this as time goes by, but I wanted to explain the silly title of my shiny new blog before I roll up my sleeves for real.

Within the 5,000 words of doom, there was a jewel. At the time, I didn't know my editor had a great sense of humor, so on first read, I took it seriously. Now, it is serious in its message, and she was absolutely right, but the delivery is priceless. Hilarious, actually, if you look at in in the context of the terrifying, life and manuscript-altering atom bomb in which it was nestled.

On page 4 of the letter, under Act 3, Plot point 10, wonder editor writes:
Plot Point 10 – The New Reality
·       Is there a way to have a scene where she gets peace about her dad?  (NEW?)
·       Beach scene (EXISTING, but tweak ending)
Basically, the 60% of your story is working pretty well—there are a few new scenes and a few things that need to be retooled, but the momentum is moving in the right direction and things are building on one another.  The beginning, though, seems to be a bit muddled.  You need a clear direction, and after a few chapters of it, Lenzi’s waffling has to stop.  She needs to make a decision and then go with it (around plot point five).  And even when she is waffling at the beginning, it needs to be purposeful, deliberate waffling that has its own little waffling arc.  Once you have Lenzi making decisions, I think your plot is going to move itself forward in a much clearer way.
Look at that!  A quirky little gem right in the middle of the Manifesto of Angst.  My favorite part:
And even when she is waffling at the beginning, it needs to be purposeful, deliberate waffling that has its own little waffling arc. 
Tee hee!  So, now you know the story behind my silly blog name.  Pass the syrup, please! 

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25 comments:

Sarah said...

Awesome! I often think the act of writing itself is deliberate waffling. Yummy, waffles! I wish I had waffles. I'm hungry. Maybe I'll get doughnuts if the check my husband just deposited clears. I have to remember to pay the bills....what?...Oh sorry, I was waffling.

-your agency sis Sarah ;)

Mary Lindsey said...

Hahaha! Hi, Sarah. I'm having the blog redesigned with waffles on it. It was bad enough posting a picture of one for the post today. Soon, I'm going to have to look at yummy waffles every time I post or respond. Sigh.

Nice to see you.

Len said...

I love your new blog...and all the waffling...and the waffles :) Haha! Interesting read, Mary! Now following!

Mary Lindsey said...

Hi, Len. Thanks. Just joined "Conversations with Self."

Amanda said...

Um, reading this post makes me VERY afraid to get my edits. *gulp*

Mary Lindsey said...

Yeah, the 60% part freaked me out a bit, but hey, she was right. Don't worry, Amanda. My case wasn't typical. Yours may be minimal.

Angie said...

Teehee. That is priceless. And that picture of waffles looks soooo good.

Robin said...

Hi, Mary! I noticed you following my blog and, to prove that following blogs brings followers to your own blog (a concept I really hope is true)... here I am! Thanks for following me!

I'm loving your blog so far and can't wait to read your book... in a year. *pouts*

I do have to say, though, that an editor who 1) bought your book; and 2) can still spot 40% to improve upon is probably a gem. I don't know much, but I'd prefer that to the editor who can't see anything wrong with it--that would scare me. :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

I'm so going to make waffles now. lol

Mary Lindsey said...

Make some for me, Nicole!

Bethany Wiggins said...

LOL, Mary. I have gotten letter #1 from editor. Now I'm scared for #2!!! I think a sense of humor is the only way to survive and you're awesome.

Michelle McLean said...

lol okay, now I want waffles :D My letters weren't too bad...but then again, non-fiction doesn't have all the potential problems fiction can have. I'm terrified of my first editorial letter for a novel LOL Love the new blog :)

Mary Lindsey said...

Yeah, Michelle. I'm beginning to think the waffle thing is not such a great idea after all. My editorial experience was not the norm. I have a very hands-on editor who had some fantastic ideas to make the book more intense, so my changes were more extreme than most. Congrats on your NF book release.

leandrajm said...

Hey, Mary, it's Silence from QT! Looks like your move is going pretty...sweet. Sorry, couldn't resist!=) Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the writer-editor relationship, looking forward to more posts.

Mary Lindsey said...

Hey, Silence! Great to see ya. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a pun in your wake.

David L Macaulay said...

Interesting blog. There is much to be said for waffling..

Mary Lindsey said...

I agree completely, David. And thanks for the comment.

IanBontems said...

Thanks for that, your editor sounds cool.
Nice blog and great title. I love waffling, too.
I'd love to see that waffling arc planned out.

Pam Torres said...

That was a great post! I am looking forward to joining you for you journey to publication and congratulations on your book.
Mmmm... now where did I put that waffle iron?

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, the 60% makes me nervous and excited, too. Very cool phrase. I could just see the waffling arc as my kids throw an Eggo through the kitchen. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Mary Lindsey said...

Thanks, Ian and Pam. And, I know, Janet; images of an airborne waffle do come to mind.

W.B. said...

I suddenly have a craving for waffles. Thanks alot! :D

Your lucky to have had an editor with a great sense of humor. I look forward to reading more of your new blog, and perhaps even see excerpts of your work.

Best of luck. :)

David P. King said...

Hmm. Eating waffles while waffling. Now there is the ultimate writing experience! Very nice, and congratulations on having your work picked up.

Mary Lindsey said...

Thanks, David and WP. Glad you stopped by.

lbdiamond said...

Ha! So that's how you named the blog!! LOVE IT!!!!

You know, I think that's what I do--purposfully waffle. LOL!