Monday, July 30, 2007

Daisy le Fey and the Half Binder Princess

Maven Erica Ridley Ack! Monday Maven is late!

Can you believe I totally spaced I was the Monday Maven? (Oops!)

This means you don't get an insightful, well thought out post today. It means you get my meandering thoughts. Much like the drivel on genres, web sites, and branding I posted this morning on my blog. (Where I did remember I was supposed to post, and yet still ended up winging it.)

While Maven Darcy and Maven Lacey were busy being super-productive and actually reaching their goals, what did I do this weekend besides see Ratatouille with a six year old and take a long-awaited visit to Dinosaur World?

The first adventure I had was printing out all 400 pages of Trevor & the Tooth Fairy for my editing pleasure. (Seriously, "editing" and "pleasure" do not belong in the same sentence.) The adventure part began when I ran out of black ink and my printer decided to eat random papers in such a way as to have half a page on one sheet and half on another. It was awesome.

So, once I finally got all 400 pages printed in two columns, landscape orientation, I then cut them all in half. Once I'd cut them all in half (and put them back in order, as the cutting process naturally got them out of order) I then proceeded to attack them all with a three hole punch. As I punched three or four sheets at a time, I was then required to reorder the loose sheets yet again.

At last, with a giant stack of 8.5x5.5 neatly punched manuscript pages, I began to place them in my nifty 8.5x5.5 three ring binder (big enough so the pages are book sized, yet small enough to fit inside a purse). Sadly, my 1" binder only agreed to hold half of my manuscript.

Therefore, off I went to the Office Depot in search of a second odd-sized, over-priced binder. I was rewarded with not one but two such creatures (are binders creature? Mine are.) and was lucky enough to find them at a more useful width of 2". (Although was unlucky in that the darn things were over $8 apiece. If a full size one is $1 at Wal-Mart, why is a half-size one $8.49, I ask you???)

I then returned home with said odd-sized and overpriced binder and transferred the cropped and punched pages from the other binder (and my kitchen table) to the new binder, where they all fit quite nicely and even manage to look rather bookish and official.

Thus satisfied, I handed the whole mess over to a friend of mine who is visiting me for a couple weeks (hey, you crit for your breakfast in my house!) along with a pen and a stack of sticky notes.

(Near as I can tell, she has yet to make a single notation, but one can only hope.)

After my houseguests go back to the great white north (okay, really Indiana), I hope to have a chance to read TATTF as a reader (I haven't peeked at Daisy & Trevor's shenanigans in months) before I get my very first revision letter.

And then I plan to lug my binder with me everywhere I go, covering the pages with sticky notes until it looks like a papier-mâché piñata. (Except without the yummy candies inside.)

Following that, I plan to polish TATTF within an inch of its life (evenly spaced 1" margins all the way around, of course) and send it back to my agent for shopping.

We shall see.

Obviously, this is my first attempt at the half-binder trick. I'm still working out the bugs.

YOUR TURN: What's on your plate writing-wise for the next couple weeks? What wacky methodologies have you tried in the name of revision/writing? Please share your secrets/thoughts/tips in the comments!


Writer & Cat said...

Why a half binder instead of a full binder? The purse thing? I sort of secretly love printing a manu out and putting it in a binder :).

lacey kaye said...

Adventures with Erica!

Kristian is kind enough to print my stuff as she goes. Then I just have to FIX it...

Bill Clark said...

Wow! Who would have thought there was so much drama in printing out TATTF and putting it into luggable form?

If and when - the latter, I hope - you come up to Greenwich, I will let you in on Bill's Secrets for Painless Printing. (Bill used the Secret Method for printing out his copy of TATTF - the one that has a gazillion yellow Post-Its sticking out all over pointing to things he felt he needed to bring to Erica's attention.)

My most recent book received what my editor called "a light edit". By that she meant that it was already 99% of the way there, and she did just a bit of minor polishing and style-book conforming.

Before you nod off at Bill's thrilling tales of Edits He Has Known, allow me to make the point I wish to make:

TATTF is also 99% of the way there. It does not, IMO, need scads of editing or revision. Perhaps some tweaking here and there, but certainly no major rewrite.

The books "works" as is. It is hard to improve on almost-perfection - i.e., 99% - so please, please don't try. Give it a "light edit", a summer trim, but for heaven's sake don't dye it purple or tease it into cornrows.
The book you already have is the book I want to buy, so please, pretty please, pretty pretty please, do not change it very much - if at all.

Oh, and you mentioned how nice it would be to have a two-book deal...I for one would *lurve* to have more of Daisy and Trevor. (Remember how I actually wrote a new scene for you with them at the breakfast table?) Why not sketch out a TATTF2 and see what happens? It worked for Diana! ;-)

Mary said...

But it does have yummy candy inside - all that delicious prose that is already there. I read the excerpt and totally LOVE it. I'm totally buying this one when it comes out (yes, WHEN, not IF). =)

Vicki said...

Love the half binder and I can't wait to buy/read the book. :)

Although I haven't read as much as Bill I agree on the light editing. Your voice is incredible.

For me, I'm pushing through with the 100x100. I should be thorugh with the first draft of AT&B by the end of it.

I do edits as I'm going though so hopfully there won't be to many once the words 'The End' are typed.

The only I've done different on this wip is to write some scenes out of order. Not to many but a couple which I kept in a scene folder to insert when it's time.

Kelly Krysten said...

Wacky? I think I once bought out Wal-Mart's entire population of sticky

Darcy Burke said...

Well, I posted a comment at about 11:30 and it never showed up. It seemed to post, but, huh. Anywho, this post was hysterical (adventures in romance writing indeed!) and I needed that today.

When I print my ms this week, I think I'll get some three hole paper...

Jacqueline Barbour said...

Well, you know what's on my plate: getting a decent partial for Unbridled ready and sent out. Soon, I hope, soon!

I have to admit, I've never printed out any of my manuscripts except for contest entries. There's something about killing all those trees and--hm, where does printer ink come from? Anyway, I'm sure I'll HAVE to do it at some point, but for now, I work strictly on screen.

Jill James said...

I loved the adventures in romance writing. Thanks for sharing. Why is a full binder cheap and a half one expensive? LOL

Tessa Dare said...

Wow! I really should print out GOTH and do the same. I tend to do all my revising on computer - I'm a cut-and-paste fiend. But holding it in your hands is a different experience, isn't it?

Good luck to you - such an exciting time, with your revisions and your wedding!

Bill Clark said...

Tessa wrote: such an exciting time, with your revisions and your wedding!

Each week I wonder if this is the se'ennight that you pool your half binder with MB's and create a whole one between you...and each week I am left wondering. Can you end the suspense and let those of us who don't yet know when the GABE (great and blessed event) will be? Thanks!

*Bill goes off to sharpen his pencil and begin work on an Epithalamion...Sweet Muse, tread softly while I start my song...*

ERiCA said...

Writer & Cat: Yep, the half-binder is for portability. It's a little more compact that way. We shall see if I really take advantage and carry it around or not. =)

Bill: Thanks for your sweet compliments!!! Lauren actually said something very similar re: TATTF in that she did not think major changes were necessary and she mostly had light edits (and some tweaks to the ending) so I'm actually not as terrified as if she would've said, "Well... Daisy is a nice name, and I do like your font." or something. =)

Mary: Yay! I love to hear that. =) Thank you!!!

Vicki: Keep up the 100DC! You're doing awesome on it. I don't always comment on the BookChallenge loop, but I do watch your progress and am amazed how well you're sticking to it! (I, obviously, am not so tenacious. *g) LMK how the out-of-order thing goes for you. I know Jenny Crusie and others do it that way, too.

Kelly: LOL. I did that, too. I actually have two blank display boards just waiting for sharpies and a yard stick so I can turn them into plotting boards...

Jill: Seriously, that's one of the deep mysteries of the universe. Same with why a travel size of shampoo is a dollar and the full size (twenty times bigger) is like a dollar fifty. Aargh! =)

Tessa & Bill: Thanks for your kind words about the wedding! I should actually let you know that it won't be this September after all. I don't have any other info at this time, but when I have something to announce, I'll let you know! =)

Manuscript Mavens

Manuscript Mavens