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Monday, October 05, 2009

SBD--Ruth Glick's Love Hate Relationship with the page

Time to hear from someone who really, truly knows the process and the industry. One hundred and twenty five books.

New York Times, USA Today best-selling, award-winning novelist, Ruth Glick (aka Rebecca York) is the author of 125 books. She writes paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her many awards include a PRISM Award for "Second Chance" in MIDNIGHT MAGIC (Tor, May 2006). She has received two Career Achievement Awards from RT BOOK REVIEW magazine.

One thing I know about myself--the least favorite part of writing for me is the first draft and the galleys. I hate facing a blank page. So I write my first draft as fast as I can. Once I get that draft, I can edit it within an inch of its life. Every book I write goes through four or five edits. One on the screen and then three or four on paper. Or more, if you count the editing I do of the previous text when I start work for the day. That’s just the way I have to do it. I envy people who can sit down and write a first draft that’s very polished. I can’t get the story and the characters all at once. I can’t even write THIS blog post in one sitting. I always have second thoughts. And in a novel, I have to layer my way into a good story. The good part is that doing those layers is incredibly satisfying to me.

Then–months later--I get the galleys, and I see lots of places where I have word repetitions or sentences that seem awkward. And I feel like–at the galley stage, I shouldn’t be finding so many things that make me cringe.


Sigh. Maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist. I tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right.


To be brutally honest, the best part for me is when I’ve sold a book–and I don’t have to start writing it yet!


The good news is that my editor just sent me an advanced copy of DRAGON MOON (out from Berkley on October 6)–and I enjoyed reading it.


The heroine is Kenna, a slave from my alternate universe, sent here to help her ruthless dragon-shifter master invade our world. She meets werewolf Talon Marshall and desperately wants to tell him her frightening secret. But every time she tries to reveal her plight, excruciating pains stab into her head. Even as Kenna and Talon fall in love, he can’t trust her. And she struggles to break through the barriers that control her mind. It’s classic romantic suspense, with the paranormal twists I love.


It’s a very emotional story, with what I hope is a wham-bang big finish. The action climax is always hard for me. In fact, I usually stop writing text and go back to flesh out a detailed outline of what has to happen at the end. That was especially true for DRAGON MOON. There was a lot going on at the end of the book, and I had to get it in the right order to make it work. But I think I pulled it off–which is very satisfying to me.


Writing’s hard work. I spend a lot of time each day avoiding getting started. Then I get into it, and I can usually write ten pages. Sometimes more. But if I go over 15, I probably can’t write more than eight the next day. Of course those pages will have to be edited later. But knowing I’ve another chunk finished always makes me feel good.


If you’re a writer, what do you like best about the writing process? And what do you like least? And if you’re a reader, what’s the best part of the book for you?

3 comments:

  1. Great post!

    I, for one, am glad that you are such a perfectionist! I'm going to guess that's why your books are so great ;) Can't wait to read Dragon Moon!

    As a reader, the best part of a book THE HEA part. *happy sigh*

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  2. This is a wonderful post! I really appreciate hearing about the frustrations and limitations (page counts) a pro such as yourself has.

    As a reader- I simply like the characters realizing their issues/difficulties and being pro-active with them.

    As a writer- starting a new project is often vexing and frightening but I think the worst is getting through that first draft then realizing all the things you mentioned- word repeititions, etc.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Kimberly

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  3. As a reader, the best part of the book is the interaction between the characters. I love great dialogue.

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