Susan's Blog

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dirt: A Story of Gardening, Mothering, and a Mid-life Crisis

My novel is done. I have completed a very good draft, and I love, love, love it. I provided a sister for Eric, the main male character, and a mom for Emmy, the main character. All the characters are fuller than before, which is what my agent suggested. I have put in little Dan’s thoughts, per Laura’s suggestion, and I cleaned up the romance confusion, per my friend Lori’s. There is sex, but don’t get too excited; it is for a purpose, it is part of the plot. I also have made sure that each of Emmy’s sons (Nick, who is autistic; Henry, who is troubled; and Dan, who is angry, to sum them up superficially) grow. There is also lots of gardening and lots and lots of dialog that sounds, to me, like the real thing.

I now I move on to Phase II: I printed it out (with our wonderful new printer from HP, House of Perks). Ned reads it on paper and I take it, a section at a time, to the gym, where I cannot edit it, and I see if it holds my attention. Every line must be my best. I feel about this one the way I felt about Making Peace, before it was Making Peace (it was called Just a Family until the marketing team from Shambhala messed with it). Right now I think it is excellent, but I have to get my feedback.

Several friends are also reading this newest version, or close to it, and I’ll see what they think. After Phase II, reading it on paper, I make whatever final changes and edits, but as of today I am finished adding content. It is about 80,000 words, close to 300 pages.

After the final changes and edits, I move on to Phase III: sending it to my agent. And then, we shall see if Dirt has legs.


Congratulations. Go dirt go!

— added by Someone Said on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

YAY! congratulations, susan! i am thrilled for you!

— added by kyra on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 1:57 pm

It’s done? Wow, you write so fast! That’s awesome. I’m excited for you. How long does it take between first draft and first press?

— added by Shannon Brooke Davis on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 9:27 pm

I’ve been working on this book for about three years. It has taken different forms and now it is what it should be. Once a publisher accepts it, it is roughly a year and a half to press.

— added by Susan Senator on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 9:31 pm

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