September 29, 2009:

Working more on CURSES FOILED AGAIN, I got all the way through to the place where I’d stopped my forward motion before, adding 22 pages in total. Then I moved ahead a couple of pages, and am ready to plunge over the next few days into the book’s huge battle scene and wrap up. Maybe another 20 book pages at most.

Do I like it? It has moments I feel soar. And moments to make the reader laugh. But I am the last person in the world who can answer that question. For me, at this time of the writing it’s all WORDS. I see each word as if it were imprinted with my sweat. I see repetitions, misrepresentations, cliches. Could I have found a better idea, a flashier sentence, a deeper/cooler/more perfect phrase? Are the characters sharp enough? Who the h.e. double hockysticks knows? I certainly don’t.

What I do know is this: I have worked hard on the manuscript. I have tried to both deepen what came before and keep it consistent with the first book. I want to make sure the arc of the thing bows in the right places, bends in the right places. I want the young reader to want to continue reading all the way till the end. And I definitely hope that the ending will be both inevitable and surprising.

I have heard that I will most likely have the same wonderful editor–Tonya McKinnon–for this book as I had for the last. As she was a freelance editor for First/Second, this wasn’t a foregone conclusion. God, did she make me work on FOILED. But as that was my first graphic novel, there was a huge learning curve. I hope I have retained some of what she taught me and that we don’t have another seven revisions to get through. But if I have to, then I will do all those revisions to get the book right. And thank her for the new lesson.

And so to bed. . .

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