Hi, nice to meet all of you. I’ve been reading JM’s posts and your comments, and I feel like I already know you. What a great community you have here. Maybe I should start a blog. . . . Well, on second thought, no, that wouldn’t be a good idea. The interesting events and people in my life aren’t something I can talk about in my world. But I hope they’ll make an entertaining novel in yours.
For the record, I have not been hanging out on a tropical beach or in shopping malls, no matter what JM posts. Summer’s a busy time for me. I have a lot of archaeological projects to deal with. And let’s not forget about time travelers…. So much as I might want to kick back on a beach with a mojito, it’s not happening. Sorry, but time travel doesn’t necessarily let you be in two places at once, no matter how handy that would be.
Jack and I help with the book as we can. But we don’t think we should stand behind JM and dictate the story for her. The actual sequence of events in our world probably wouldn’t translate well into a novel in yours. She needs to take the ideas and find the words to draw you in. Frankly, I think she took too much of that dictation with her first novel, and now there are important (and time-consuming) revisions to make.
JM’s beginning to realize this and is working through it, like she does with archaeological reports. Heaven knows there are days I don’t want to write them, either. But we have to. Deadlines can’t be blown off if you want to keep your clients—or your job. And while writing a novel is a choice, she knows it requires hard work, too.
I was surprised by the number of characters and events she’s cut from this draft. There will be some unhappy campers when they find out. But Jack and I agree it simplifies the story. It’s too complex to cover everything. Rather like making a film adaptation of a book in some ways when you think about it.
Anyway, I’m glad to see she’s making progress on the revisions. Once she’s done with this round, Jack and I will take a look at the manuscript and offer suggestions again. But we’re waiting until she tweaks the last chapter. It should wrap up the main story of this book but also help set the stage for Book 2, which follows immediately in time. I hope the “beta readers,” as she calls them, will say this draft shows improvement. I think it does, from what I’ve seen, but I know she has more rounds of revisions and rewrites before she can say she’s finished. Much as we’d like to see the book published, we don’t want bad reviews.
And finally, on behalf of all the characters of both manuscripts, I’d like to ask the following question. We’d like to be an integral part of the blog, since we’re the reason for it—but only if readers think that’s a good idea. If you could please spare a moment to answer the following poll, we’d really appreciate it. Now if you’ll excuse me, Jack and I are expecting company. . . .
- Learning From A Book I Didn’t Enjoy (jmmcdowell.com)