This has been a wondrous day.
For the past week I have been suffering the only professional torture I know worse than writer’s block: editor’s block.
I have quite a short deadline to get the copy edit of my novel back to the publisher and I had become completely stuck on one chapter.
I kept going past it and then I’d come back, knowing it wasn’t right, knowing why it wasn’t right, yet oddly unable to make it better. I felt frozen.
It was deeply distressing because it’s not like I haven’t done this before… this is my eighth novel. I should know how this stuff works by now, but sometimes my confidence just gets completely shattered.
Then last night I finally found the courage to send my wonderful editor/publisher an Email of Shame, confessing I was making no progress.
This morning I woke up to find the most wonderfully warm and sympathetic reply with the perfect advice. Then after I’d had breakfast I found a new email from another editor at Harper Collins with really constructive detailed advice how I could put fix it.
It was like I was locked in a dark room and someone had switched a light on. Immediately I was able to get to work and by the end of the day I had entirely re-written the problem chapter, twisting the time frame of it round.
The difference is I am no longer telling it all as a number of things which had happened previously, which gives a book a dead feeling.
I converted all those described events to real-time action, conducted mostly in dialogue, which is by far my favourite thing to write.
Specially when a lot of it is coming out of the mouth of my male lead with whom I am always very much in love.
So I’ve just sent it off to them and I’m going to bed keen and eager to get back to the rest of the edit tomorrow, rather than feeling like I am going to the scaffold.
I also made some chicken soup.