Jul 29, 2008

Summer Writing

By Betsy Love

Can summer be almost over already? It flew by way too fast for me—how about you? Mostly I’ve sat at my computer and worked on my novel. It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of fun, too. Mostly what I have done is clean up—you know getting rid of tag lines, varying my sentence structures, using lots of m-dashes (—) and the worst part, finding all the plot holes and asking myself, would Margaret let me get away with this. (A line from the retreat.)

My favorite part of the whole process is that my dear, dear friend Theresa and I took turns at each other’s houses with our laptops side by side as we read each other our books, each taking a turn to read a chapter. (By the way, her story is delightful.) It’s amazing how many of those adverbs creep up on us without even realizing we’re using them. I want to keep up the tradition of critiquing like this, but alas, summer is almost over.

I’m working hard to complete my manuscript and then send it out to readers, people who will not oooh, and ahhh over it, but critiquers who will say, “Is this right?” or “What just happened here?” Then when I send my it in, I want the publisher to be so thrilled with it that they oooh, and ahhh over it and send me an acceptance letter.

The last time I sent my baby to be admired, the editor sent back a lovely rejection letter. “Fix the plausibility issues.” So with that in mind, I’ve gone back through it and looked for anything that might not be believable. Keep your fingers crossed, and say a little prayer for me. My summer is almost over, and soon it will be time to go back to work teaching 9th graders the importance of the English language, and I still have so much left to do on my book.


  1. That's what a good editor does. We do that here. Is this for real is our mantra. And believe it or not, there is a lot of what we call puffiness in a product annoucement. I know that's tech writing speak but it applies to novels as well. Would that character really do that? Could she really do that? Keep at it with the help and you'll be getting that acceptance letter. We LOVE it when we get something that's so well done, we hardly have to do much but read it.

  2. Thanks Terri, for your words of encouragement!

  3. Betsy, I am envious! Tell Theresa hi for me! I lost her number off my cell before I could write it down...I miss both of you!

    Have you read Janettte's blog about checking facts and plausibility? It is great! Sometimes editors question things that really can and do happen. True life is often stranger than fiction.

    Good luck to you!..btw...I would love to critique your manuscript when it's ready!


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