WIP: Uh Oh

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, you never know when a character is going to do something unexpected in your Work-in-Progress. I should have also mentioned that you never know when your editor is going to do something unexpected as well.
I’ve been blessed with the BEST editors–and that can be a problem because they’re always thinking of ways to make my work the best it can be. A couple of days ago, my editor emailed me with an idea for a dramatic change in an important aspect of my story. Don’t get me wrong, she LOVES this book, but she had an idea to make it better. After groaning, gnashing my teeth and tearing my hair out, I realized she was onto something good. But it required a major change in the logistics of what happens (sorry to be evasive here, but I don’t want to give anything away!). I was so enjoying writing with all the angst of plotting behind me, and then this bombshell.
So I spent the last couple of days thinking of the logistics–how to make something in the story work in a believable and satisfying way–and I think I’ve finally got it. Joy! It means a load of rewriting, and getting to understand a certain character in a new way, but I think it will pay off in the end.
It better!


  1. Ann on February 10, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Is the w.i.p. the book that takes place on Topsail Island? I am looking forward to any of your books and especially that one. I recently found a very interesting book about Topsail. The title is “Topsail Island – Mayberry By The Sea”. The author is Ray McAllister. It was published by John F. Blair in 2006.
    We are headed to Pine Island tomorrow with “Summer’s Child” in my suitcase. [the book, that is].

  2. Diane Chamberlain on February 11, 2007 at 12:09 am

    >>We are headed to Pine Island tomorrow with “Summer’s Child” in my suitcase. [the book, that is].

  3. Brenda on February 11, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    A gift today…After church, running errands, lunch, I had to go to the library to pick up a book of short stories for grad school. Even though I thought I had all of D’s books-except one-I decided to look on the shelf under D.C. Much to my surprise-there was the book REFLECTIONS…well, girls, let me tell you-instead of coming home and working on the my Grad Project (my columns), my essay about Pride and Prejudice (and characters therein), my author project (Jane Austen), and work for grad class Thursday night, I cuddled under a blanket and read. Let you think there are no TWISTS in this book, think again. It is amazing…the twists and turns. Diane Chamberlain can write and it is a shame that this book is not re-released. I don’t think ANYONE-no matter who it is-should touch your writing…that’s my thinking…
    Thank you for my gift today…your words.
    Helen-amazing…Rachel–wow!!!Your characters are so HUMAN…I know them and feel part of their pain…Michael…LUKE—
    Ironically, when Rachel was traveling, she stayed in a motel near Charleston, WV—of course, that’s where I go to grad school—grew up shopping there-20 miles from my house.

  4. Diane Chamberlain on February 11, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    My goodness, Brenda, I didn’t realize you’d missed one of my books. REFLECTION’s a personal favorite of mine. I had such fun researching in the Amish country. To research Michael, who is a Mennonite minister, I hung out in the parking lot of a Mennonite church in Lititz (i think it was Lititz) PA and nervously watched for some friendly-looking people I could approach. I found a young couple, explained what I was doing, and they invited me into the service–even had me stand up and introduce myself. (I really loved the service, by the way!) The woman became a wonderful resource for me and even read my manuscript for accuracy.
    What I really like about REFLECTION is the intergenerational aspect. I’m glad you like Helen, Brenda. I so enjoyed writing about her and her secret past.

  5. Brenda on February 11, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    I love this book. I will eventually get to order it from your website-the only one I do not have. It is a re-reader (my own word). I LOVE HELEN…I love the generations…Helen, Rachel, Chris…This novel is one that I would rec. for my ONLINE bookclub-if the book were readily available. Amazing-your talent. Your characters come alive-never more so than in this book. Of course, the Vietnam element got to me… You should think about a reprint on this one-perhaps in paperback (although I buy your hardbacks) to reach a wider audience…

  6. Krysia on February 11, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    I just finished Bay at Midnight. I liked the book although I had a hard time keeping up with the changing characters. I reserved a copy of summer’s child at the library and can’t wait to read it!

  7. Diane Chamberlain on February 11, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Hi Krysia. Now you’ve got me worried, since there were only 3 point of view characters in BAY and there are 4 in my WIP. One’s a guy, though, and two are teens of different genders, so hopefully that will make it easier. Glad you liked it in spite of that.

  8. Krysia on February 12, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I have severe ADD which is one reason why I struggled ( I have a hard time concentrating period), another is I was only able to read the book for a half hour a day on my lunch breaks and very few times at home. So don’t worry.

  9. Diane Chamberlain on February 12, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Okay! Thanks for the reassurance. I admire you for trying to read at all with severe ADD.

  10. Margo on February 12, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    REFLECTIONS was wonderful and a personal fav of my friend Laura’s. She loved it so much she started re-reading it the minute she finished it! Krysia, you will love SUMMER’S CHILD. I’ve read it twice and am going for a 3rd time this summer.
    Diane, I can’t imagine what you must be going thru after already having your book in place, and now having to change things?…STRESSFUL! I know this book is going to be a winner tho…no matter what.

  11. Diane Chamberlain on February 12, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    The change is going very smoothly. My editor and I had brainstorms over the weekend and merged our ideas nicely this morning by phone. HOWEVER, remember my prediction about the title not sticking? THE SEA TENDER will become something else. . . as yet to be decided. Have to put my rusty old thinking cap on once again.

  12. Brenda on February 12, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I am reading a lot now-am writing for grad school, etc. I have tried to read books that are written from many points of view-I do not have ADD-but let me tell you-when there are TOO MANY-I give up and forget it…
    Margo-there is a mystery writer who writes very very light books set on Martha’s Vineyard-and talks about Nantucket–I will write more about this later-you might enjoy them.

  13. Margo on February 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I’m really going to miss that title Diane but you know best. Knowing you I bet you already have something wonderful chosen. Brenda, plz share the mystery writer’s name…I’m reading all I can about Nantucket so I’d be very interested. Am in the middle of THE LOVE SEASON by Elin Hilderbrand who lives on the island and this makes the 4th book I’ve read of hers since they all take place there. What is everyone else reading right now?

  14. Diane Chamberlain on February 12, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I’m reading about arson investigations and post partum depression. LOL. Also just started THE ARMS OF GOD by Lynn Hinton, and ordered FOLLOW THE RIVER by. . . blanking on the name, but it’s a man. Have you read that one, Brenda?
    And no, I don’t have a new title picked out Margo. I liked the original title, but my publisher thinks it’s “too passive” so I’m playing with words here at my desk. . .

  15. Brenda on February 13, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Phillip Craig–very very very light mysteries set at M’s Vineyard…
    Yes-FOLLOW the RIver quite good…

  16. Brenda on February 13, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    River by Thom…you’ll like that one, Diane.
    My students are-as I said doing short stories.
    First: I made a WORKSHEET/graphic organizer for them to jot down characters, etc. (We went on Internet and checked cemetery lists…)
    Today-they made Tables by putting the names of the characters at the top-and characteristics under each (No last names are used-no names of my family or anyone we know at school–that’s fun)
    Tomorrow-a table/graphic organizer for settings…and then PLOT
    To get them into “CHARACTER”, I tell stories. I chose to tell a story from REFLECTIONS–using no names of the characters and not real descriptions (I used the elementary school scene). The way I did it–they knew they wanted to know more about characters in their stories. They can’t read the book yet-but one day…when they are older.
    I love that book-it has made an impression on me.
    Margo-you have to read it if you have not.

  17. Margo on February 14, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Oh Brenda, I’ve definitely read REFLECTIONS and of course loved it. I’ve actually read ALL Diane’s books including her very 1st and they all have a very special place on my bookshelf.

  18. Brenda on February 14, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    This was the only one (I think) that I had not read and do not have-can you imagine my delight when I saw it on the shelf at the library?
    Am off to work on project…cold…cold…the gas logs are keeping my fingers warm.

  19. Margo on February 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Brenda, similar thing happened to me with SUMMERS CHILD…how could I have missed it?…I was shocked when several years ago I found out 1 of Diane’s had slipped by me! Anyway, it was such a treat to read it and I have since read it again. I loved the place and characters and if Diane has thoughts of a sequal from a previous book, I hope it’s this one! Keep warm, I know exactly what you mean, brrrrrrrrr…even with my gloves on my fingers won’t stay warm!

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