The Waiting Game

Great Escapes post #1 ghosts

I heard from my editor last week about my third book, which comes out next April. He forwarded me the wording that will be on the back cover of the book and asked for my input. He hopes to send me his editorial notes on my manuscript this week and then I can get started on the serious business of editing.

His email got me very excited about the book all over again. He’s had the manuscript since the beginning of May; during that time I’ve been working on two other books and, of course, promoting Secrets of Hallstead House and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, but I found that I’m chomping at the bit to get back into that manuscript.

But taking a break from a manuscript is essential.

Why, you ask?

By the time a manuscript is sent to the editor, the writer has read the book at least a billion times and it’s hard to take a step back and look at it critically. It’s like trying to take a critical look at a newborn baby. It’s impossible. Taking a break and working on something else allows the writer’s subconscious to ruminate on the manuscript. It also allows the writer to read the manuscript, once it comes back from the editor, with relatively fresh eyes. It’s easier to catch mistakes, easier to see plot holes, easier to see the story arc. I know my manuscript contains mistakes and plot holes–I just couldn’t find them when I submitted it. The story was too fresh–it was the only thing I could think about. I needed to get away from it for a while and now I’m ready to delve into it again, to polish it and make it better.

This isn’t just true with manuscripts, by the way. I’ve found that taking a break from something, a problem or an issue, often helps me see things more clearly. Even if it’s just overnight. You’ve probably heard it said that “everything looks better in the morning” (can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that). It’s good advice. There’s a reason people say they have to “sleep on it” before making a decision. Taking a break before making a decision or taking some kind of action gives you the distance you need to see an issue more clearly, to see options and alternatives.

Try it. You’ll be glad you did.

I’m glad I got a break from that manuscript, but I’m ready to tackle it now. I hope to get the cover art soon, too, and when I do I’ll share it here first. I can’t wait!!

Until next week,

Amy

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10 comments on “The Waiting Game

  1. I was invited to talk to a book club about my book The Right Wrong Man. I had published it a year before, and to be honest, hadn’t read it since (I was working on my next one). I quickly began to peruse it the night before my talk, and couldn’t put it down! I was so pleased that I liked it so much. 🙂 Yes, a break from our manuscript is always a good idea.

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    • amreade says:

      I’m always surprised by how much I forget in the books I’ve written. I always assume I’ll never forget a single word of a novel, simply because I’ve lived and breathed it for so long. But as soon as I start work on something else, my brain leaves it behind. It’s also good for me to go back to other projects to see if and how I’ve grown as a writer. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Richard Thompson says:

    So after a long hiatus from reading I returned to Peppernell Last night! Realized I had set it down at chapter 6 so that’s where I restarted. I got so involved in it that I never turned out the light until 1am. Then I woke up early (5:15am) and got ready for church. Poured a cup of coffee and finished the book at 8am. A fantastic read and Amy I am very quick at figuring out the “who done it ” but you stumped me with this one. I had the two exes early on but never got the Ruby part until you revealed it on her death bed!
    Great job and thank you for the enjoyment I had in reading your 2nd book! Waiting for the 3rd.

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    • amreade says:

      Rich, I ‘m so glad you enjoyed the book. And I’m glad you didn’t guess the end! It’s always more fun to be surprised, I think. Thank you for all your kind words and believe me, I’ll let you know when the third book comes out!!

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  3. Sharon Aguanno (Armymom) says:

    Ahh, the infamous, “I wish I had thought that through for just a little bit longer”…… Yep, been there, done that…. Happy you are getting to work on your book again, and I doubt very much there are as many mistakes and plot holes as you think… You are definitely hard on yourself… as many of us are…. I love when an author reveals their cover… can’t wait to see it. Enjoy, and As Always, “Keep Reading and Writing”.

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    • amreade says:

      Thank you, Sharon! I can’t wait to see the cover art. The other two book covers have been very atmospheric, and I’m hoping the Kensington Art Dept. is able to work its magic yet again. Have a great week!

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  4. macjam47 says:

    That sounds so exciting. Best wishes.

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  5. marlainagray says:

    How exciting! Happy editing!

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