One other amazing thing that came out of the Promoting Passion Convention and our conversation with René was me trusting her to take a picture of me naked. I've been wanting to do this for years, to overcome my hate for my body and to begin loving it, begin seeing it through the eyes of others as a body, skin and flesh and bone, and not as an object to handle and hurt and invade.Read More
"What books have you read like Irkadura? I really loved it." — Katherine
Dear Katherine, I'm ecstatic that you loved it! Irkadura is not an easy book to love. People either love it to death, or can't read it at all. I have already sent you a list via email, but then I thought, "Wait a minute. This is a great list to share with my readers." So here you go, darlings. The books below are not exactly like Irkadura, and many have made a powerful impact on the world literature unlike Irkadura, which hardly compares, but they have the same kind of darkness and bite and directness and yearning, and I loved every one of them, so I'm sure you will too. There is no particular order to how I've listed them, I was just typing titles as they came to mind.Read More
"Hi Ksenia! I am so excited you're going to go into more depth about your revision process, because your post about cutting half your words by rekeying your whole novel has me all abuzz with excitement (and, frankly, trepidation—I don't know why this method seems so frightening to me, but probably the fact that it does means that I should do it).
Here's the story of my story. I wrote a novel (a middle-grade). I waited a few months after the first draft, and printed the whole thing out and stuck it in a notebook. I read it through and made notes. I analyzed each scene to make sure it advanced the plot. I mapped character arcs. I typed in my changes. Then I waited a few weeks and sent it to my Kindle and read it again, and typed in more changes. Then I sent it to beta readers, and made more changes. Then I sent it to my agent, and made more changes. I had added scenes, deleted so many extraneous things, and tightened what I could. I'd gone from 74,000 words to 64,000 words.
We sent it out to editors and they all came back with the same rejection: "I love the voice but it takes way too long to get going." I put it aside. I wasn't sure what to do with it. And then, like magic, I won a free full manuscript edit from editor Deborah Halverson. I told her what the other editors had said, and asked her to very nicely be brutal. She wrote an amazing, thorough, mind-boggling edit letter and also marked up the manuscript.
And now I don't know what to do next. Do I read the edit letter so many times that I have it memorized? Do I print out the full manuscript with her edits in there, and read that, and then read it again and mark it up? Or, do I go Full Ksenia and print it out and then start typing? Or, I suppose, the question is: How do I go Full Ksenia on this?
THANK YOU, you are awesome, I bow down to your writerly wisdom. xoxoxo
Hi Julie! Don't bow too low, you might hit your head on the floor (and it's not like I'm very wise, either, not worth the effort). So. May I say something outrageous to you?