Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back to Routine

Whew. Well that was fun. I got the first major revisions done to The Deathday Letter and turned them in. I feel really great about it. The people who have read it so far have really liked it. My friend Pam said she can't even remember what the old version was like. Which is a great compliment. My super-agent started reading it on the subway and cracked up, getting tons of weird looks. YAY!

So now I'll be catching up on blogging and fixing up my website (notice my new header!), getting author photos taken, and getting back to writing my next book.

I'm taking a cue from the awesome fellow Firebrander/author Shannon Morgan over at daily pie, and creating a format for the blog. So here goes:

Monday: Funnies. I hate Mondays so I'll be using Monday to post videos, websites, and anything else that made me laugh.

Tuesday: Book News!! On Tuesdays I'll share what I'm working on, any news I have about The Deathday Letter or any other project.

Wednesday: I'll be using Wednesdays to share any tidbits of cool writing stuff I might know. Anything from info about Query Writing to how to write awesome dialogue.

Thursday: Book Reviews. I've got lots of book to review, so I'll be using Thursdays to discuss what I'm reading and how much I liked/disliked it.

Friday: Fridays will be Mailbag days. Got a question? Send it to shaundavidhutchinson {at} gmail dot com and I'll answer it. Since I know not too many people read this...yet...I'll answer random questions until I get enough emails. Yes. Yes I do prefer briefs over boxers. See how easy that was?

Saturday: I'll use Saturday to update everyone on how much weight I've lost/gained and how my marathon training is going (miserably right now). I think public humiliation is the best way to motivate me.

Sunday: Since I watch too many TV shows and movies and listen to entirely too much music, I'll be posting some of my favorites from the week on Sundays.

So there. That's how it is. By the way, did I tell you I finished my revisions? And then threw myself a party.

Until tomorrow.


  1. Hey! I looked in my Google Reader, and I was all, "Deathday Letters? Somebody's ripping off Shaun!"

    Cool header. Great font - great post-it! Also the death graphic. OK, it's all cool.

    Let me tell you, I LOVE having a blog schedule. It sparks a lot of ideas.

    I just tweeted you an article about author photos that @AuthorTechTips posted today. Good suggestions.

    Congrats on finishing this round of revisions! As of today, I'm officially back in the revision stage, with some interest expressed for the resulting hack-job. :D

  2. Thanks. I think the header might be a little small. I'm trying to come up with a unifying design for my website. I like the idea of the whiteboard, since I'm crazy about whiteboards.

    Your post totally inspired me. I ramble far too often and it seems like I'm not saying enough. Your blog, on the other hand, always feels like you've got so much to say.

    I was serious about email, if you need to chat. When I was on submission, we sent The Deathday Letter out to ten editors. They all had nice things to say. Loved the hook, loved the voice, felt the plot was missing something. It was pretty tough. Then Anica over at Simon Pulse asked if I'd be interested in doing major revisions. And she wasn't kidding. I did a revised outline and four new chapters for her before they made an offer. Then we went through three or four versions of an outline (my final outline ended up being about 20 pages) before I could even start on the revisions. Then I worked on those for about 5 weeks.

    Chris will tell you that I took turns being ecstatic and frustrated and upset and back to ecstatic. At one point I was convinced they were out to turn my book for boys into a sappy romantic comedy. But I can say today that doing the revisions was the best thing I could have done.

    The best thing I learned from this is to take what they're telling you, take they're suggestions, and make them your own. Chris and I talked about this a couple weeks ago. He said that when they ask for a revision on something, they're sort of saying there's a problem, and they're offering you a solution. If you have a better solution, then that's what you should do. He said he's never happier than when a revision comes in that solves the problem in a way he never expected.

    So, rock on with the revisions!!!

  3. That's one of the most rewarding things I've done as a writer: coming up with a solution nobody (even me) anticipated. Love it.

    My revision situation looks like this: almost every single editor (of 10, as in your case) had the same feedback: too many POVs and the adult storylines are too prominent for middle grade. When I was querying, there was no unifying reason for rejections, so it's been a relief to see that these two issues are resonating with most editors.

    Right now, I'm tidying up my most recent draft (accepting track changes), then I get into the nitty-gritty of how to filter all the necessary info through fewer POVs.

    I'll move this conversation to email, though, so your readers aren't like, "WHO CARES?!" :D

  4. I haven't read your books, so obviously take this suggestion with a grain of salt, but have you considered moving into an omniscient third person P.O.V? That would allow you to dip in and out of every character's thoughts, and go where you need to go, but you could create a unifying narrator's voice that would tie it all together. Make sense? Kind of like how Eoin Colfer does for his Artemis Fowl books.

    Feel free to email me any time :)


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.