Coming March 2020

The Copy Cat

Listening to the muse, even when you don’t want to…

When I first began to write, I often rushed through my work. In fact, I am embarrassed at how quick I was to believe that my work was done and that to revise and revise was simply denying my soon-to-be discovered fans the opportunity to see my work as soon as possible.

I learned. I am not embarrassed to say that It’s a Mystery, Pig-Face! went through 11 drafts, at least 4 of which were major revisions. I would read something helpful in a book or online and I would realize what I didn’t know and then go back and fix it.  I had an editor look at the book and give me suggestions. My wonderful agent Lauren had other changes. When I start working with my editor at Sky Pony Press, Alison Weiss, the book will get better again.

Revision Cartoon


But here’s the thing: I KNEW the book wasn’t 100% the best work I could do when I sent it out. Early on, I could blame that on complete lack of experience; now I would be mortified to send it before I felt I had done everything I could do.

I am currently finishing draft 6 of my YA fantasy. I finally feel that I am ready for my beta readers to read it and give me feedback. Had I sent it earlier I would have been insulting them by wasting their time because I knew it still needed work. And while I am sure that there will be more changes/suggestions from them, I am at a place where I feel I am getting close to the end and I can really use their help.

Early on, I couldn’t understand why my writing wasn’t up to par with other writing in my genre.  As I have matured as a writer, and written almost full-time for the last year and half, I have realized that it is in the revisions, it is through killing my darlings and wonderful overly-long paragraphs of no use to the plot, that the book begins to form itself.

I listen to the muse. And I think of the children who will buy my book.  They deserve my best efforts. For me, I guess, that means a LOT of revision and rethinking!  When the muse tells me to dig a little deeper, I dig!

Author of Children's Literature