Time to Spruce Up ELEGY!

The critiques have been rolling in for ELEGY this week, and now all I want to do is drop everything and revise it! They were that fantastic - full of brilliant suggestions, gentle hints that some things weren't working, and sharp character analyses that made me say "Wow!" several times. I printed every email, taped them into my notebook, and scribbled down ideas on how to work in the advice: adding a chapter here, weaving in a scene there, etc.

Now, I hadn't looked at ELEGY since I finished it back in March and did a few brief edits in May. I hadn't even opened the Word document. I just typed "The End" and started sporadically shooting out the manuscript when the mood struck: first to my CP, then to three friends, and finally a couple of blog buddies who had shown interest in beta-reading it. And then I put ELEGY into a folder on my desktop and "forgot" about it.

But now it's all I can think about, after reading the critiques I got so far. I wouldn't say that I'm more excited about revising this than I was about PPP... it's just that I worked on PPP for so long that the excitement was more spread out.

I try to be a good "parent" to all of my books - I try not to love any of my "kids" more than the others - but I do love them in different ways, and ELEGY is giving me a feeling that I'm not sure I fully had with PPP. That's not to say that PPP hasn't done well, or that I would ever, ever give up on it, but I just feel more confident about ELEGY. I feel good. I feel like I'm becoming a stronger writer, and that it's not so hard to figure out how to use feedback to make the story better on my own terms, with my own style.

I sat down last night to read ELEGY in its entirety for the first time and felt so proud of it. Like, I know that in its current state, it's a hot mess, and there is a truckload of revisions to be done - but I love this book so damn much. I can't wait to flesh out the characters, add more detail to this world, and structure chapters so that everything flows more smoothly. It's all there in my head, just waiting to come out!

I'm busy all weekend, but I'm hoping to have at least a few hours on Sunday to get my notes together, whip the first few pages into shape, and write a query letter in preparation for WriteOnCon! ELEGY is nowhere near querying status, but I figured it might be fun and good practice. When the links go up, I'll make sure to post them here so anyone who's interested can hop over and critique!

That's it for now! Have a great weekend, everybody!


1000th.monkey said...

If you want/need a second stage reader, count me in :D

storyqueen said...

Yay! Can't wait to read the query in the WOC forums! And congratulations on still loving your book after all you've been through together--that is the mark of a keeper.



Brandon Ax said...

Oh I so know how you feel I am just waiting for the notes to come in.

It is funny how different books hit a different part of you. I wonder if sometimes we work through different things while writing each so they have separate levels of attachments.

Good luck on revisions.

workofheart09 said...

Oh my gosh, isn't that the BEST feeling ever, when you connect with a story in such a deep, abiding way? I truly believe there's nothing like it. Loving the book, loving your characters ... just being so overwhelmingly excited about it all ... it's a delight. Enjoy every moment of working on this next stage of your book-baby! <3

mshatch said...

I love when CP comments get me excited about my manuscript again. Good luck with revisions :)

Jay Noel said...

Taking a break from Elegy was a great idea. Putting a little distance will help you see it clearer.

J. A. Bennett said...

It's always a good idea to get your query ready, that way you don't have to to stress when the time comes. Sending happy editing vibes your way!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love coming back to critique a book after letting it rest a long time. I wish I had that luxury right now!

Have fun revising!

Donna Hole said...

I think you have to love your final draft of a writing as much as you love that last child no-one thought you should have. You pour every ounce of your being into a work, and if someone doesn't love it, it can devastate you.

But, if the have valid reasons, you begin to see, and appreciate the feedback. You pick your crit partners because they understand you, your writing, and are not afraid to say -urm, well . .

I can't wait to read Elegy, and PPP. No, I'm not a YA reader, but your writings have intrigued me, and I'm vested in you as an author. I think you have that JK Rawling potential: a good MG/YD book that appeals to a larger, more mature audience. Just don't forget who your target audience is :)


Crystal Collier said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found the help you needed. *hanging head in shame* Here's hoping your revisions leave it shiny. I'm going to have to look for you at WriteOnCon!

Julie Dao said...

Monkey: I will definitely put you on the list! Thank you so much for offering :D

Shelley: Yes, let me know what you think of the query! :)

Brandon: EXACTLY... I love that we can write different books for different parts of ourselves! What a way to express every facet of yourself!

Shari: It really is. I'm proud of the story, no matter what. I don't expect it to connect with everyone (and it didn't, with some of my CPs), but I'm still happy with it. Thank you <3

Marcy: Thank you, I'm really looking forward to revisions!

Jay: Taking time off to work on other books is probably the best way to stay excited about a story!

J.A.: Thanks for the happy editing vibes! *rolls in them*

Stephanie: I take it for granted, definitely! Thanks :D

Donna: I love you. 'Nuff said! You are way, way too kind. I only hope to write a book that someone out there will like almost as much as I do - nothing more. I really do hope that one day you'll get to read my work and I'll get to read yours, and we'll reminisce about being blog buddies and dreamers :)

Crystal: Don't be ashamed! You're so, so busy. Hope everything is going well with your projects!

1000th.monkey said...

I would seriously love to :D

Theresa Milstein said...

So exciting! I wish you luck, Julie. :)

Peaches Ledwidge said...

You've accomplished a hard task. Good luck with the revision process.

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