Revisions with Author Pippa Roscoe

We have author Pippa Roscoe talking to us about Revisions. Her debut book has just released, Conquering His Virgin Queen. 


Mills & Boon author Pippa Roscoe lives in Norfolk near her family and makes daily promises that this will be the day she will leave the computer and take a long walk in the countryside. She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t dreaming of gorgeous alpha males and misunderstood heroines. Totally her mother’s fault of course—she gave Pippa her first romance to read at the age of seven! She is inconceivably happy that she gets to share those daydreams with her readers.

Pippa Roscoe on the web:


Website          Facebook        Twitter

Revisions - the kindest gift you will receive as an author!

This may sound like quite a statement! Also, I’d completely understand if you’re thinking – no actually a contract would be the kindest gift an author could have! But I would (gently!) disagree.

Firstly, for an editor to see something of value in your voice, in your story telling, and to take the time to help you find a stronger pathway to a better book means that you’ve got something. You’ve got a voice that they like. And more than that, you not only a foot in the door, but also someone who will (hopefully kindly!) point you through the sometimes painful realisation that the first draft of your book is not the end of the process of getting your book out there.

As much as we’d all love to think that a story pours out of us in pure perfection, each word absolutely right, each decision or turning point for our character carefully constructed to make the best happy-ever-after, it doesn’t quite happen like that.

I know with 100% conviction that once I write ‘the end’ on my first draft, it’s not. Because while I know how I wanted my book to read, that doesn’t mean I’ve actually achieved it. But revisions will help you make that happen.

And though the revisions from your editor will never be easy, here are some tips to help you through that process:

1)   When you first receive revisions, reply to your editor immediately – without having read them! Thank your editor for sending them to you and say that you will get back to them once you’ve had a read through them. This is because, when you read them? The last thing you’ll want to do is fire off a polite email! No matter how well intentioned and how kindly they will have put their suggestion – it will hurt. And your relationship with your editor is a professional one, so be polite before the hurt gets to kick in.

2)   Take two days to think through the suggestions before you do anything. You’re going to want to start ripping into your story, you’re going to want to tear the whole thing down, and most of the time, that’s not actually what the suggestions are saying. Really they’re not. And if that is what’s needed? You’re going to need a few days just to think things through.

3)   If you do have questions about the revisions – ask. You don’t want to go down the wrong path and unpick things that don’t necessarily need it. Most editors would welcome a conversation about any thoughts you might have.

4)   Get in chocolate, crisps, arrange a chat with your closest BFF and be kind to yourself. Because it’s hard doing revisions, and you need to do whatever it takes to get you through. Me – mid revision? Unbearable. I can’t even go out to see my family. Because I can’t think of anything else, until I have them done. So once you’re in the middle of them? Ask those you need to ask for the kindness of bearing with you through this.

5)   Finally, remember that this is the hardest part about writing. Making your book even better. Which also makes it the most worthwhile bit of being a writer, and the kindest gift to you and your book that there is.
There’s not getting around that it’s painful and hard, but hopefully this will help you on your path to the best book you can write. And the feeling when you’ve nailed the revisions? Indescribably wonderful.

  
Conquering His Virgin Queen
Six months ago, their marriage ended…

He has twelve hours to claim her back!


Odir Farouk is about to become king—but to take his throne, he needs his errant wife by his side! Odir denied his hunger for Eloise, refusing to compromise power for passion. His rejection drove her away. Now Odir has until news of his succession breaks to win back his queen…and pleasure will be his most powerful weapon!

Read Reader Reviews

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33 comments:

  1. I really like your first point. It makes a heap of sense, and I suspect will make the editor think more kindly of you too. Which cannot hurt.

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  2. Thank you. It's such a small thing, but communication is so important. Best wishes!

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  3. It was nice reading your post. Came to know about more things how to handle before doing s job:)

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad that you found it helpful!

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  4. Wise suggestions! I appreciate them. Happy Writing, and best wishes on the release.

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    1. Thank you for your wishes! As I am currently mid-revision myself it is actually quite nice to remember to take my own advice occasionally!

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  5. Spot on advise about the revisions. Reworking a story is hard work, but it's definitely worth the effort. I especially like your suggestion about thanking the editor before reading her suggestions. (It's hard to type with tears in your eyes... HA!) Good luck with your new book!

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    1. It's so scary to unpick parts of the book, but it's so important to remember that no one wants the book to fail! And the suggestions are there to make it better. And the tears? Yeah! That's what the chocolate is there for! Happy writing!

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  6. This line is so true --> "I know with 100% conviction that once I write ‘the end’ on my first draft, it’s not." My first draft is always a long ways away from being truly "ended."

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    1. And it's exactly that journey that makes us writers. I now send my editor my 'second' draft, I just call it my first! Happy writing!

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  7. Wonderful and spot-on suggestions! I have come to really love getting revision letters from my editors, even when they needle me a bit. But being able to see different perspectives on what I've written, as well as what works/doesn't is so helpful!

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    1. Thank you Meradeth! I still fear the revision letters a little, but do know that the advice there is invaluable. Happy writing!

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  8. Excellent post. It was a great reminder to appreciate the suggestions. I've been struggling with it myself. My last story was rejected with helpful suggestions that I'm not certain I can put into that story, but have been keeping in mind for the book I am currently working on. Sometimes I get discouraged, tabling a book to write one that is (hopefully) more solid...but you're right-- these people are busy. To take the time to give help and suggestions is such a gift!

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth. It's always hard, but keep at it! Wishing you great luck and fun with your writing!

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  9. A writer should always ask questions about revision suggestions to be sure the writer and the critique partner or editor have the same understanding of the story structure. These are great suggestions. I'll be sure I'm connected with you online and follow your blog. Have a great week!
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Victoria! Yes, my initial response is usually to throw the whole story away, but then I realise that's not what's needed. If in doubt, always ask! Happy writing!

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  10. I'm always grateful for revision suggestions. I had such a hard time finding someone to give me any sort of helpful feedback. But yeah, it's better to thank first, then read. Because the urge to argue can be strong.

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    1. Ohhh, that urge can be strong. And sometimes, if you do have a strong urge to protect a point/scene/trait, then it's about finding out specifically what isn't yet working and find a way to ensure that what you want to keep in your story DOES work. Good luck!

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  11. This post made sense and came at a good time for me as I tackle with revisions. Thank you!

    Your book looks hot! I like the cover, too!

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    1. Thank you Janet, good luck with your revisions! Happy writing!

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  12. Thanks for a timely post, as I wade into my latest round of edits on my draft... Love the premise of your book!

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    1. You are very welcome Deniz! I hope that your edits go well! Happy writing!

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  13. What a great way to see revisions and so true. They are a gift. If someone sees enough value in our work to lend a hand and make it better, writers must appreciate that. You've given some excellent steps to take in this process. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you and I'm so pleased you found this helpful. It's hard sometimes when you feel you have to unpick, but having faith that it will make the story stronger will get you through! Happy writing!

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  14. Thank you for the tips! I learn so much through writing the first draft. It's a huge accomplishment, getting it all down, but I look at it as getting the clay on the wheel.

    Congratulations on your book! It sounds great!

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    1. Thank you Dawn, I love learning from each draft. And that first draft IS a huge accomplishment. It's important to celebrate that as much as the work still to be done! Happy writing!

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  15. I have come to love revisions. They truly are a gift. I love Pippa's advice to email right away. That's brilliant because after reading the revisions it can be hard to want to send a nice email. :)

    Wishing Pippa all the best!
    ~Jess

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  16. Revisions aren't easy, but it's rewarding when they produce something even better. (Chocolate definitely helps!)

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    1. Chocolate... crisps... coffee! Whatever helps to get you through to the next, better, part of the process! Happy writing Sherry!

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  17. Revisions always make a story better. :)

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  18. This is excellent advice. Sending a thank you mail before you've read what the required changes are, makes the most sense.

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