Friday, December 17, 2010

Revisions... oh, fudge!

I tweeted a couple of days ago that the only things on my mind are Christmas and my love-hate relationship with revisions. Still true today but they've now combined into one topic.

See, I also have a love-hate relationship with Christmas candy. Specifically fudge. I love the taste, the texture, the *taste*. I hate what it does to my waistline.

A romance manuscript is a lot like fudge. There are some basic ingredients you always need: butter, sugar, a dark moment, a HEA/HFN. But there are other things that are similar recipe to recipe or book to book, but not identical. Chocolate chips or unsweetened chocolate, corn syrup or marshmallow cream, a bad guy trying to kidnap the heroine or a dark family secret that will rip them apart.

And like a batch of fudge, a manuscript can be going along great and then *bam*, something happens and it just doesn't work.

With fudge, a redo pretty much means starting from scratch. Thankfully, with a manuscript there are REVISIONS (though there are times just starting over is tempting!).

I like revisions because I like making a book the best it can be. I like pushing and layering and okay, further torturing (my characters, not myself-- but see the above comment about starting from scratch! :)). But it takes an amazing amount of energy for me to revise. Because I pour it all out the first time. Or at least I try. Sometimes it feels like there's just nothing left. Like I tried to make fudge and it called for a whole bag of marshmallows but all I had was 3/4 of a bag and I already dumped those in. I'm completely out.

But, it won't be as good.

That 1/4 of a bag makes a difference.

So, it's worth digging deep into the "cupboard", coming up with more, putting the rest-- every last bit-- in.

And you know, sometimes just when you're sure it's perfect, it occurs to you to add something-- like toffee bits. And suddenly--wow! Even better than before. Toffee crunch fudge becomes everyone's new favorite!

Yeah, it can happen.

(Let's hope I can find some magic toffee bits for this book in the next 2 weeks! *g*)

And for your fudge-ilicious pleasure: FUDGE RECIPES (Come on... how can anyone not like site called Fudge Recipe. com?! Awesome!

And there's Kahlua Cream Fudge--- are you *kidding* me??!!! Yee haw!!)



Meg Benjamin said...

Mmmmmmmmmm. Fudge

Cathy M said...

If my MIL hadn't just given me two batches of homemade fudge, I would love, love to try that Kahlua recipe. Will definitely save it though to make later.

Thanks Erin and happy holidays.

Kelly Jamieson said...

Don't need no fudge. But I feel your revision pain. I too am reworking a MS and it's KILLING me. This is not edits which I actually kinda like. This is adding, subtracting, and rewriting. Okay maybe I do need fudge.

Erin Nicholas said...

hee, hee... the Kahlua fudge is looking better and better. Or maybe Kahlua minus the fudge!

Skylar Kade said...

I so needed to hear this right now. I'm starting revision hell on my NaNo project. Making fudge may take the edge off the pain.