Lauren Lauren Quite Contrary – How Does Your Process Go?

I’ve been asked what certain parts of my editing and revision process looks like so I’ll do my best to answer and try not to look too much like a tool:

So I’ve got this big black binder sitting open on a stool next to where I’m sitting. Inside are the 460 pages of Undercover. It works thusly – I write a first draft. No one sees the first draft and I’m always convinced it’s crap until I do the first read. Then I print it and put it in a binder and begin hand edits for revision.

Some pages are blessedly free of notes while others have stickies and hand written edits in the margins. My handwriting starts off very legible but I can tell when I look back when I’ve been at it a while. I begin to see what my repeated crimes are and attempt to purge them (overuse of a certain word or phrase – “murmured” is one, “just” or “well” often too).

Then, I take it chapter by chapter and upload it to my crit group.

They’ll find things I couldn’t see because I’m too close the material. They’ll call me out on my grammar crimes and my overlong sentences. They’ll help me make it better.

I’ll take their crit and make changes to the manuscript and then it’ll go to my agent. She’ll take a gander and will make comments and then I’ll tweak it at long last and send it to my editor.

All in all, the revision process will take about ten days. More if there are a lot of problems to be fixed.

Not very complicated or mysterious really. This part of the process is where everything shiny threatens to derail me. I start thinking about new projects. I get antsy about my schedule. I have to be really hard assed with myself.

Anyway, that’s a glimpse of my totally glamorous life. BTW, I have to hide my highlighters because my three year old likes to steal them to color with and now that my kids are reading (two of the three) I can’t use my old manuscripts as scrap paper with the older ones, at least the sex scene parts anyway.

Any other questions? I can’t promise I’ll know the answer or that I can give the answer but I’m usually pretty open…

65 comments to “Lauren Lauren Quite Contrary – How Does Your Process Go?”

  1. Lauren
    December 30th, 2007 at 2:30 pm · Link

    Ash – recently I got back cover copy for Undercover and I asked three people which of the three proposed hook sentences they thought were best. Each one of them chose a different one!

  2. Lauren
    December 30th, 2007 at 2:31 pm · Link

    Debi – it’s not a copyrighted idea! I know many authors who use notebooks too. I think using what works for you and incorporating ideas in when you hear them when they help your process is what you SHOULD do!

  3. Nancy Bristow
    December 30th, 2007 at 9:15 pm · Link

    Lauren…I found a bunny. Hop…hop 😆

    I also loved reading about your writing and editing process. It was interesting and obvious that you want to write your best for the sake of your craft. I was introduced to your work by a friend (Chase books 1 and 2) and I can see from your current book list that I’m way behind:oops:

    I also enjoyed reading about Megan Hart. She was one of the first EC writers I ever read several years ago.

    Happy New Year to you…I have to go look for bunnies now 😀 Nancy

  4. Stacie McClellan
    December 30th, 2007 at 9:36 pm · Link

    Trust me – when they get older they still steal your highlighters. Especially boys. I swear my 20y/o acts two regarding anything he thinks is fun or neat.

    Found a bunny!

  5. JSL
    December 31st, 2007 at 1:19 pm · Link

    Hi Lauren! Hi bunny!

    Thanks for sharing that. I tend to edit in print too – for some reason I just can’t see mistakes/issues as well on the computer. Happy New Year!

  6. Karen H in NC
    December 31st, 2007 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Happy New Year! I found a bunny!

  7. Melissa
    December 31st, 2007 at 4:30 pm · Link

    I think I’d want a critique partner like that, too. Tough love, and it all pays off in the end, with a better book, right? I have a hard time being like that…but appreciate it when someone is honest with me.

  8. Marlene Breakfield
    December 31st, 2007 at 6:34 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Trang
    January 1st, 2008 at 7:39 am · Link

    That’s pretty cool. As someone who loves to read but not write, it’s a mystery how the process is done, especially when you think about how everyone’s is different. Speaking from a totally personal perspective (papers or reviews, etc) I’m better at editing on-screen now, whereas several years ago, I had to print and then edit…of course I’ve never produced anything close to the length of a book. Anywho…keep up the great work…

  10. Sandy
    January 1st, 2008 at 9:31 am · Link

    😎 Great post

  11. Jaycee
    January 1st, 2008 at 12:04 pm · Link

    Ooooooooooo a sneaky Bunz! :roll:GREAT blog today!

  12. Ellen
    January 2nd, 2008 at 10:16 am · Link

    Hi-lighters and sticky notes—those cover my desk. I don’t think I could finish any of my casework without both of those!

  13. Kimmy L
    January 2nd, 2008 at 3:04 pm · Link

    I’m finally able to get back on the computer from being out of town and sick. Hi everyone.

  14. Autumncat
    January 2nd, 2008 at 5:08 pm · Link

    Thanks for the peek into your editing process. I enjoy hearing not only how a book evolves but also how the process varies from author to author.

  15. Cindi Hoppes
    January 2nd, 2008 at 6:58 pm · Link

    Found Bunny # 2. Happy New Year! Cindi