No one said writing a book would be easy.
Taking time, diving deep within yourself to pull raw emotion straight from your very essence to put pen to paper. You think that’s tough?
Just wait until the editing process. That’s when the real self-reflection starts.
I love behind the scenes and making-of type things. Movies, books, TV shows, etc. and I want this blog to be as honest about the process as is reasonable.
As I have mentioned before, I have some great peer editors and I have an excellent professional editor. She has been instrumental in polishing the book, but also in offering some insights into character motivations and interactions that sometimes have made me take a step back and think, “Well, dang. If that isn’t me.”
Being in a creative industry, collaboration is needed. It keeps you sharp, it challenges you in ways you can’t fathom and almost always it is for the betterment of the work you are doing. With that being said, I haven’t and won’t make all the suggestions recommended, nor should anyone. If it’s your style or you're passionate about retaining something that means something to you, fight to keep it. But make sure you are fighting for the right reasons.
I’ve lost pages worth of content that I thought was great. Still think they are good, but can step outside the process and realize they aren't needed or they just don’t work in the narrative. Sometimes that is a hard pill to swallow.
I’ve worked in the creative industry for a while. Have been a professional copywriter for years and had my work whittled down countless times. I was somewhat prepared for the process. What I had not prepared myself for was this message…
“This is definitely not YA…”
I had prepared to have the novel perused and explored, but I hadn’t prepared myself to realize I was in the wrong genre.
I should have though.
If I’m honest, I knew I was pushing some boundaries with content that weren’t typically YA, but youth are evolving. The content they consume should be too, or so I told myself. In my mind, I always assumed that my premise and wordcount had me sort of bound to that genre. I didn’t write it for YA, I just wrote the story as best I could tell it.
It turns out, that isn't for a middle-school-aged young adult.
Again. Not something I should be shocked by. One of my peer editors had previously made a comment that it was not typical YA. I didn't think too much about it. I mean, who wants to be typical? Haha.
I once had a client that wanted all of their content at a 5th-grade reading level. I thought that was unnecessarily low for their clientele and I changed the parameters to 9th grade. Would you believe it, they began getting more compliments than ever about their content. I can be stubborn.
I have begun restructuring my marketing to reflect its revised moniker of “New Adult Fiction” and at the end of the day, it isn’t really that big of a deal. I am self-publishing which means I only have myself to answer to at the end of the day. I’m not forced to rewrite the book to fit a younger demographic.
I can stand behind my work and the story and let it be a little sexier, the writing a more complex, and a little more violent than it would be if I were to keep trying to promote it as young adult fiction. Hopefully, that all adds up to a better book for readers across all genres.