Visions and Revisions
A few days ago, I sent off the second round of revisions requested by a particular editor. It’s rather exciting to have interest in my work. BUT, though we’ve gotten off to a glorious start, we’re still in the early dating stage. I try not to get too giddy when the editor talks about taking it to acquisitions. It’s rather like talking about maybe getting married one day. Until there’s a contract around my finger, there’s no real commitment. Yet, I’m cautiously optimistic.
This last round of revisions was requested with a three week deadline. Whew! Naturally, as Murphy’s Law dictates, when the pressure’s on, things fall apart. Like my Word program crashing six times, resulting in lost text and pages of scrambled characters. Yes, six times:( The work of revising became the easiest part, thanks to the editor’s very concise feedback. But, what should have been the simple process of revise-save-rinse-repeat became a test of endurance for me. Or, rather, a test of my sanity. Alas, all turned out well, I made my deadline, and I still have hair on my head.
Now that I’m able to finally exhale, I’m reflecting a bit on the process. I’ve entertained my own vision for this picture book biography, revealed in its shape and theme, its emotional highs and lows. When it was first submitted to five publishers, three expressed interest. Awesome, right? But one editor asked me to shorten the book. One asked me to expand it into a chapter book. The third asked me to elaborate on what was already there. That’s three radically different visions for the same manuscript.
I had to decide which editor’s vision was most in line with my own. I could have begun revisions for all three but, for the moment, I’ve chosen to focus on editor #3. It’s a bit like the dating game, isn’t it? Frankly, I like this publisher and what they stand for. They create beautiful, important books with long shelf lives. And, the editor gets me and what I’m trying to convey. We could be a happy book couple.
Today the manuscript, more than double its original length, has been re-visioned from where it began. And I like it. Though I’m sure the book will be re-visioned yet again, this courtship gives me butterflies.
I am, in a word, hopeful!