Do not choose your critics because they are the best at constructive criticism. Your best critics may be totally undiplomatic; you need to find the people who best understand your best attributes. If they understand your strengths, then they understand when youâ€™re not using them.
–Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist
I love this quote, because it’s so spot on it’s almost painful. Sometimes, when you’re writing and trying to improve on parts of craft that might not be your strong suit, you forget to make what is your strong suit shine. It helps when there are people out there, editors in particular, who know your strong suit and who can remind you that, this is what you need to do – this is what makes you shine, do more of this.
I’m 3/4 of the way done with some final revisions for TOO HOT TO HOLD (Nick’s book) – the hard parts are done and so I’m working on Chris’s subplot at the same time I’m writing his book, HOLD ON TIGHT. Trilogies are hard but being able to work on all three at the same time is really helpful – I can go back and check facts, change facts and timelines, make sure everything is both smooth for people who read all three in a row and yet stand-alone for those who pick the books up out of order. It’s definitely been a challenge, but I’m damned lucky that the books of my heart happened to also be marketable – I know that doesn’t always happen.
When I was talking to my editor today about the books, I told her that the first two were particularly difficult because I’ve had the characters in my head for so long (hello Jake!) that I’ve built a canon for them – and anything that has me deviating from that makes me crazy. For Chris’s book, I changed the canon and I can already feel that the book is easier. Although I wouldn’t trade the first two books for anything – I’ve gotten to do everything I’ve wanted and some things I didn’t know I needed in them, I’m looking forward to (hopefully) a more straightforward path with Chris’s book (read – fewer revisions).
What? I can dream, can’t I? 😛