Forgive me if this blog is a little meandering and a bit crazy. I have pulled a week full of all-nighters working on my final pass through the revised version of SIEGE. I had already been through it three times, but the fourth time through was a real kick in the pants. It was my final chance to tidy up the book and make it the best it can be.
When you consider that the original word count was around 160,000 and it is now....drum roll please....
I think you can understand how much work I put into this final book.
The biggest challenge, as I had stated before, was making an online serial into an actual novel. Translating what had been basically a daily writing exercise done for fun into a streamlined and coherent story was a huge challenge.
After reading my revision letter from my editor, at first I felt very worried about how the original ATWD fans would respond. I mostly felt guilt because I was loathe to cut out stuff the original fans of the story had enjoyed. I also had to guiltily admit I had modified some of the online story to match fan expectation. There were a few occasions where I abandoned original concepts to satisfy fan demand. My editor pointed out that she could "see" where I had tried to make my fans happy, but the challenge before me was to take all those elements and wrestle it into a good book.
That comment completely liberated me. I realized I owed it not only to myself, but to all my fans to make SIEGE the absolute best it could be.
I have to say that I actually gleefully slashed a swath of destruction through the book, eliminating parts that were entries I wrote on particular days because I HAD to write something, excising portions that were written just to make fans happy (like "first day" accounts--which I can turn into Untold Tales), and plot points/sections that did not match my original concept. At one point, I was so happily cutting sections, I saw the word count dropping fast.
Happily, once I was done slashing, I was able to weave the remaining threads into a tighter, stronger, more coherent story that returned its primary focus to Jenni and Katie. I was even able to write NEW scenes and draw out certain plot points that enhanced the story.
By the time I finished this morning, I was literally beaming.
Siege is leaner, meaner, and closer to my original vision than ever before.
I now anxiously await my editor's response. Hopefully, she'll like it, but even if she tosses a few more suggestions at me, I know they'll be good ones. Seriously, my editor at Tor is amazing.
I'm so proud of my work on SIEGE right now, I could bust!
Now, I'm going to go pass out.