Friday, December 30, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cave with Guest Blogger: Liz Crowe

Win an giftcard &
chat revisions with author Liz Crowe
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The Revision Cave—Not My Happy Place

We all know about the “writing cave.” It’s that special place we go, physical or mental, where our muses gets to play, coaxing out characters, plot points and—at least in my case—sexy scenes that tie together into a lovely package of publishable words.

I like it in there. It’s warm, welcoming, full of chocolate and peanut butter early in the day then delicious, bitter, beers after about 5 p.m. (or 3 p.m. depending on the day).

Next door to this happy place is another cave, full of cold icicles, snarling rodents (I have a thing about rodents) editing balloons that say things like “too passive” and “you can do better than this” or “there are 157 uses of this word. Go back through ans lose some” and even “POV—head hop”.

Me? Head Hop? I think NOT. Oh, yeah, guess I did. Crap.

The revision cave is like the ice bath after a long satisfying run. Brutally painful. But necessary if your writing muscles are to ever fully develop.

I’m in here now (see me, waving frantically from behind a frosted over window before the mean rat-shaped demons yank me away and plunk me back in front of the computer).

I have a lovely story done. One crafted while ensconced in the cozy writing cave. One I subbed, got back with a request for “more,” which made me smile because it meant more time with the chocolate waterfalls and beer. In my eagerness to get this thing back to the requesting editor and meet one of my 2011 writing goals of adding this particular publisher I apparently wrote more POV shifts, passive sentences and repetitive words than the worst writing rookie on the planet.

I am not rookie I assure you, but you can’t tell that by the amount of tracking bubbles attached to this steaming pile of….well, you get me.

But I’ll make it work, given time and enough gut churning coffee—that’s all you get in the revision cave. That and stale crusts of bread to gnaw on.

While I’m in here, let me toss out a new release from Decadent Publishing. Caught Offside is part of the popular 1NightStand series with Decadent. And it allowed me to riff off my extreme obsession with soccer players and their ultra fit bodies while exploring a bit of the male/female dynamic in professional sports.

A Note from the Book Boost: I'm a big "non-fan" of revisions as well. Thanks for joining us over the holidays and for being our last official post of 2011. Won't you tell us more about your latest revision success?


Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has been brought low by a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered leg at the World Cup final he has spent a year in surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson.

Worried about Ramon’s lack of interest in soccer, women, or in anything much else besides the black jack tables Jackson concocts a plan to bring him out of his funk.

Gillian Winter, catering and banquet manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero: Number 17 on the American National Soccer team, Ramon Castillo.

When a chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon's presence in their midst, everyone's lives are changed forever. Is real healing possible for Ramon and Gillian after just one night stand?


“You told her what?” Ramon stared at his cousin in disbelief.

“That you would be meeting her and her son at noon at Soccer Plus.”

“And what the fuck am I supposed to do with them there?” He protested while his body began reacting to the thought of being that close to the gorgeous red head from the MGM lobby. But Jackson had no right to do this. He’d sworn off soccer. All that ridiculous time, energy, money spent, only to get cut down in your prime by a random bullshit event. He turned and started to walk out of Jackson’s office. The hour-long massage had loosened his leg, but his head started to pound at the latest turn of events.

“You will do this. Not because you owe me or anything. But because I’ve just made it a condition of your stay here.”

He gripped the doorknob. Yes, he owed his entire life to the Castillo clan. Born to a drug-addicted prostitute and left to languish in a Cuban-American neighborhood welfare hospital, he’d been adopted by the Castillo family, and Jackson in particular had taken an early interest in the boy’s natural athletic abilities. He’d paid for his early training in the lily-white suburbs, amongst the wealthy soccer moms with their shiny SUVs. The rest could be called soccer history, including this latest ignominious chapter.

His shoulders slumped and he nodded, not turning back to face the man at the desk.

“Okay—but just once. And I am not doing this for her or that kid. I’m doing it for you.”

“That’s fine. But I assure you that you may have met your match with Gillian Winter.”

Suddenly curious in spite of his irritation, he turned. Jackson leaned back in his chair, shiny dress shoes propped on the huge walnut expanse of a desk, one eyebrow cocked.

“Gillian Winter….” He had a sudden flash of realization. She had been the goal keeper for the women’s national team back when he’d still been playing at the under-nineteen level. He’d quickly moved up. But she had left her gold-medal winning team after two brilliant seasons.

“Christ.” He ran a hand over his face, yanked open the door and stomped out. First the pressure to stay in Vegas to take over the semi-pro team Jackson had funded with several other successful resort owners. And now this?

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Liz said...

thanks for having me! I will keep you posted on the revision project.

Willa Edwards said...

I'm totally with you Liz. I love the writing cave but hate the editing cave. Unfortunately you can't have one without the other.

Melissa said...

Too bad we can't have more fun in our editing cave. Maybe we just need someone to slave for us. :)

If you haven't read Liz's latest book, you definately should. In fact, all her books are amazing!

Na said...

I think revisions are important in every type of writing, whether it is writing a book manuscript or business proposal. I know not everyone does but I like the revision process. It's a chance for me to shape the writing, clarify important points and polish it. Wishing everyone a great time in the writing cave and remember the "meat" of the writing is done...for the most part :)

Jessica E. Subject said...

Hey, Liz! I take turns in the revision cave, writing cave, and promotions den. It's confusing as to where I'm supposed to be when, and sometimes, the three become one room.

All the best in 2012! Just bought Caught Offside and can't wait to read it! :)

Mary Keith - Keith Publications, LLC said...

Nice Blog! As Jessica mentioned...We need all three in our writing career...WC, RC, PD :)I feel I'm in one room too.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Mary Keith

Janice Seagraves said...

Your story is a heart breaking one. Good luck with the release.

Aw, revisions. I can write like the wind, but revisions take forever. I've taken editpalooza twice to help me with it. And after that taken my ms though a critique group to get more eyes on my ms.


Anonymous said...

Last time I had to visit that "editing cave" I went kicking and screaming! It was a pitiful sight. But I do have a good excuse. I submitted the ms. in January. Remembered to check on it in March. Found out it was lost in cyberspace. RE-submitted in April. Got acceptance in May. Publisher had to hire new editors in June. My editor quit. AND lost my ms. Again. RE-submitted and got assigned a new editor. WHO was so overwhelmed with too many new jobs she didnt get to my ms. until Oct. It had a scheduled Release date of Dec.

Yep. Went kicking and screaming. Sigh.

LOL! Great post, Liz! Nice to know we're all like that!

HUGS, Kari Thomas,