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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Game's Afoot

I got a surprise phone call yesterday...from David Hartwell, senior editor at Tor Books. Tor and my agent have been negotiating on my novel Eternity Shift, but I never count a book sold until I hear that the contract is in the mail. :-) Still, here was David wanting to talk to me about editing. I know David, have talked to him at a number of conventions, mostly about his young kids or my kids, or what have you. But suddenly...we are now Editor and Writer. That is such an interesting and unique relationship. I must say that book editors do seem ...in my experience...to be more involved in the story, but then they are dealing with much larger works. And I had sort of forgotten that first start of feeling each other out a bit as writer and new editor...how much are you willing to change, how hard with you fight me if I ask you to do things differently? and on my part...are you going to try and tell me what to do, or are you willing to hear my reasons and be willing to compromise? I have learned a lot from some editors, not much from others, but the good ones are worth rubies and have helped make me a better writer.

So the outcome of our phone call? David had three major points to make...there will be a host of little issues, of course. One didn't surprise me. Will I ever listen to my 'hind brain' every time it whispers in my ear? Probably not, although I listen a whole lot more than I used to. But the other point caught me flat footed. Yeah, I had created a particular character situation because I needed to, but I was focusing on other issues. David pointed out...quite rightly...that I had missed what was potentially a very powerful character conflict...had simply not dealt with it. He was right. And he was willing to hear me when I gave him my reasons for a particular name he had problems with.

I think this relationship is going to work well for both of us. I think this may be one of those editors I learn from. :-)


Blogger Jean said...

I'm so excited for you...and jealous. I know the book will be great when it comes out. I can hardly wait to add it to my Mary Rosenblum collection.

Congrats and best wishes for a very successful novel.


8:11 PM  
Blogger Tonya Stokes said...

Thank you so much Mary for giving us these insights into the writing world. In a way, it helps new writers like me feel a little ahead in the game.

May you sell a million copies.


9:11 PM  
Blogger ComeFlyWithMe said...

You are constantly teaching us, Mary and we thank you! I hope this book is on the New York Times bestseller list! You go!


6:37 PM  

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