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Nashville or combust

I worked at a semiconductor manufacturing plant for about two years as a manufacturing engineer. For the first 18 months or so, we were in the process of installing new tools and bringing them online while simultaneously ramping up production. The executives liked to compare what we were doing to building an airplane while in flight (per this EDS ad below).

I'm not sure that's the most confidence-inspiring way to describe your process as a company, but I see parallels to it in my revision process. Plus, the video's just funny.

I've been working almost exclusively on Diego's story for the last few weeks, and ignoring Slow Burn altogether. My thought was that giving the book a rest before looking at it again would give me a fresh perspective and renewed energy. It did, but I was in danger of never getting into the global revisions.

More than the line edit stuff–which would be a waste of time for scenes I may change/delete anyway–I need to focus on the plot changes that I came up with after a helpful critique and a brainstorming session with my CP. I believe the book will be better off with my altered story line, but coming up with the energy to tackle it is sometimes difficult.

The task can seem daunting. Yes, I've rewritten the first five scenes of my current MS three times, but that was starting almost from scratch each time. With the old MS, I'm cutting, splicing, and patching all over the place. I think I may copy the Scrivener file and start in a new version so I don't have to worry about taking snapshots or making duplicates of every scene that might change.

I'm a bit overwhelmed, but excited to get the book into shape in time to pitch it at the RWA National conference in Nashville in July. My goal is to finish the revisions and another pass at basic edits before I move in June. Revising is cutting into my word count goals, but if I can be organized enough to divide my time between both stories, maybe it'll keep me from burning out.

Either that or I'll spontaneously combust.

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Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    I’m not really against your well being. However, if given the choice, I have to go with the human combustion. (yours not mine) Sorry, is that bad?


  2. Reply

    Funny post and great video Gwen!
    I guess you and Rich form a great pair LOL LOL you have a similar sense of humor:)
    Good luck for your book Gwen!

  3. Reply

    I was really hoping to go to Nashville but DD#1 got into a grad school program she wants really badly and the tuition alone is $45 thousand. *sigh* At least RWA is in NYC next year.

    Good luck getting everything done in time, Gwen.

    • Reply

      Crikey, Mary! That’s a bit above and beyond as a parent. 😉 Maybe I’ll see you next year in NYC. It’ll be closer once I move to VA, and I figure I won’t get to LA in 2012, so might as well go while it’s close. But only if it doesn’t interfere with the Writer’s Police Academy!


  4. Reply

    Hilarious video, Gwen.

    One of my CPs works on two MSs at a time. It works for him b/c he is getting feedback on one while he’s working on the other. Taking time off from a MS does give perspective, so whatever works! I’ve just started working on something I haven’t touched in 10 months, and it was like reading someone else’s writing. Very strange!

    Best of luck!

    • Reply

      It is weird to go back and look at your work after some time off from it. Sometimes good, sometimes not so much. I definitely spot the issues and problems more easily. And occasionally, I get to say “wow, I wrote that?” 🙂

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