So while I was at my writers retreat this past weekend, my friends helped me figure out some revisions for my novel, The Breakaway. In none of the 16 years I've tried to fix this problem in the book, I've never had such a helpful discussion where everything just clicked. Afterward, I kept thinking why that was. Why now? Was it because this book is more geared toward a young adult audience and these were all young adult writers? Was it because I was just in the right frame of mind to accept criticism and hear suggestions? Was it because I'm only a few month away from my publisher's deadline to turn in the final manuscript for editing? Then I stopped and looked at the situation - sitting in a room with six other writers, all discussing and taking turns and listening to an excerpt.
I think no matter how far advanced we get in technology, nothing will ever beat sitting in a room with other writers. No amount of chatting, no blog post, no Skype video session, nothing could have ever worked on the same level as what happened at my retreat. Everybody listened to my excerpt at the same time - they heard me reading it how I wanted it heard, and then they took turns in telling me what they thought and why the excerpt (and others like it) were not working as well as they could in the novel. I got to weigh in, too, and ask questions and discuss with them what might work. We were all affected by the same environment and setting and everything just came together.
So now I have some fairly substantial revisions to do on my novel before it's due to my editor. Yay! Finally, finally, finally, this book will come together. I can feel it.
So what do you think? Have you ever had an experience like this where things just clicked after forever? This is my motto while I do revisions.
Also, we are announcing our contest for the next anthology on Monday, August 1st! Now aren't you just excited? You should be. Because prize money is involved with this anthology, and we're really excited to announce what it's all about and how much we want you a part of it!