Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why novels are like children (aka: good-bye to Luc, Frannie and Gabe)

So, I have officially (and probably unofficially) read Last Rite for the very last time. I finished reading through first pass pages (if you don't know what those are, you can find out here) this weekend and mailed back my last few corrections to my editor on Monday. But also, I just finished the first draft of a new project yesterday. I have two projects on totally different ends of the publishing spectrum and it made me think.

The Personal Demons trilogy started like any other project, as just an idea. Or, really just a character. (Hi Luc *waves* :p) So...that would be like an egg, if you're following my analogy here... And from that idea, grows the first draft of a whole novel, with a beginning, a middle and an end. (Think ten fingers and ten toes.)

But that novel is just a fledgling. It needs some guidance (critique input) and support (revisions) to grow into a book that can stand on its own. (This would be your toddler.)
As it starts to take its first steps into the world, we continue to support (revise) it and it slowly grows into the book we knew it could be. So, we send it into the world (high school...or, um...agents) knowing that not everyone will like it, but hoping it makes some friends.
Some may think it's not refined enough. Others won't connect with it on a personal level. It may feel misunderstood and lonely. But it will find a best friend (editor) who will encourage it to be even better (editorial feedback) and support it (revisions) so it can be strong and independent. But once it's out there (on shelves) it's subject to scrutiny (reviews) and it needs to stand on its own. And, as the author/parent, we need to stand back and let it go.

Which is what I'm doing with Frannie, Luc and Gabe. I'm at the place where my heart is still with them, and I still worry about them, but they're independent and strong and I have to find it inside myself to move on and let them have their life. It's hard, and a little sad, but it's part of the cycle.

But, I've got a toddler in my brand new project that needs nurturing, and I've got a few high schoolers who are on or ready for submission, and I've got a few eggs lying around. None of them will ever take the place of Personal Demons, but just like my kids, I love them all the same.


  1. Awww! Cute post! I think this provides helpful advice to pubbed authors as well as those people who are debating "trunking" a novel.

    You may love those characters, but at some point you have to let them go. And fill the gap in your heart with the love of a new project.

    Can't wait to hear more about your "toddler". ;)

  2. Ahh! How sweet. You should be very proud of the kids you're letting go. They're wonderful reads and I'm looking forward to your future generations :)

  3. Sad to see the series finish but CANT WAIT TO READ IT! And Lisa, I'd read anything you write ;)

  4. MRS.LISA I AM SOOO CRAZY ABOUT UR BOOKS ESPECIALLY THIS TRILOGY I WAS LOOKING AROUND FOR BOOKS WROTE BY U AND I WAS LOOKING AND I SAW PERSONAL Demons I REAd the BACK AND I WAS TOTALLY IN love WITH IT I READ THE original sin book 2 AND I CANT WAIt for the last rite but i can't believe how its gonna end cuz i dnt want it to end, also ur books motivate me besides having the career of a cardiologist(heart specialist surgeon) im lookin forward to rite novels (I LOOK UP 2 U) when i grow up ... i have a book report (speech) on the first series PERSONAL DEMONS. I know u make appearences but i've nvr seen u in canada i live in ontario mississauga i always hoped one day u would come to canada somewhere like toronto im only 13 but i request tht u do com to canada when evr u get an oppurtunity, there's so much i want u to kno but i bet being an author is a ful time job so might nvr get this comments/request/questions
    post.......but if u do i wait for ur rply u can rply to me at:

    PLZ REPLY PLZ....... I WAIT.........