The proposal for my new Work-in-Progress, AFTER THE STORM, crossed the finish line yesterday morning. Oh, joy! I managed to keep it to 16 pages. I was aiming for 10, but since I usually write proposals that are anywhere between 40-70 pages, I am thrilled. I’ve emailed the proposal to my agent and my editor, and now wait to hear their comments. And they will have them! I can count on those two women to make suggestions. I can count on myself to groan when I read/hear them. And I can count on the fact that whatever they come up with will make the book stronger.
Now I return immediately to the revisions on BEFORE THE STORM, the prequel to ATS. I’m psyched about doing the revisions. It’s fun for me to take something that’s already complete and make it better. In particular, I want to focus on the four first person points of view, strengthening the differences between them. I’ve blogged about this challenge before, but I have not been as successful as I’d like. I want the reader to be able to flip to a page in the book, read a few sentences, and know which character’s point of view she or he is in the midst of without looking back at the chapter heading to find out. It’s truly a challenge in particular between the two female characters. 
I also want to punch up the motivation behind a certain character’s actions to be sure they’re believable and not contrived. Andy’s point of view (Andy is the guileless fifteen-year-old boy with fetal alcohol syndrome) is so delightful to read (if I do say so myself!), that I want to see if I can show a bit more of the story through his eyes.
Finally, I want to neaten and strengthen the writing throughout. Given the fact that the manuscript is 410 pages long, filled with a complex story, I have my work cut out for me. As soon as I finish this blog post, I’m taking the manuscript onto the porch with a cup of coffee and buckling down.
Oh, one other thing. A public thank you to reader and frequent blog commenter Margo Petrus for leading me toward the BEFORE and AFTER THE STORM titles way back when. Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas.
PS Are y’all loving the ClustrMap at the bottom of the page as much as I am? I absolutely love seeing where my blog readers are from! Click on the map for a closer look.

7 Comments

  1. Ann on September 28, 2007 at 12:36 am

    Congratulations Diane!!! I am realizing why your books have such unforgettable characters – all the writing and rewriting! To be working on two books at one time has got to be a challenge. I am really looking forward to reading them.
    Yes I do love the clustrmap.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on September 28, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Ann, I really can’t work well on two books at one time. Fortunately, these books are so linked that it makes it easier–and more interesting, as I realize a change I make in one story changes things in the other. But while my agent and editor are looking over the proposal, I’ll focus on the first book. I hope to get those revisions done within a week and then I can give the new WIP my all.
    What I find difficult is when I’m totally immersed in writing the new book, and suddenly the galleys for the last book arrive and I need to switch gears. That’s a few months off, though.

  3. Margo on September 28, 2007 at 9:23 am

    What a wonderful feeling for you Diane…CONGRATULATIONS! You probably feel like celebrating at this point! One of the main things I’ve learned through your blog is the amazing process that you give to each novel. I had no idea what went into the writing of a book until you started sharing the different steps and transitions you make to reach unforgettable times and places…your a skillful & gifted writer and the true humanity of your characters shine thru because you also write from the heart. Because you have made us feel like a part of these challenges by sharing your ups & downs with the WIP’s, I am more than excited for these 2 books to come out next year! On another note, thank you for the recognition Diane…truly, it’s an honor.

  4. brenda on October 1, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    COngrats. I am not forgetting you ladies-I am overwhelmed teaching college along with high school. Was out of state this weekend-at my daughter’s-celebrating. I have to admit I was 60 yesterday!!! That is the age my mother died…bittersweet birthday.
    Thanks for the personal emails and concerns…I appreciate them.
    Brenda

  5. Diane Chamberlain on October 1, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Happy Birthday, Brenda! You’re the most active 60 year-old I know of.

  6. Margo on October 2, 2007 at 8:15 am

    Brenda, Happy Happy B-day! Tho we’ve never met I believe you to be 60 going on 30. (-: I think you have more energy than me and I thought I was active!
    Diane, meant to say how much I enjoy seeing visitors from all over the world on the clustrmap. What a feeling that must be for you!

  7. Diane Chamberlain on October 2, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    I do love it, Margo. I must admit, I have to keep my globe nearby to figure out where some of those dots are located. I’m getting quite the geography lesson!

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