April 16, 2011
I'm happy to welcome Ann Aguirre to the blog today for a guest post! Here's the blurb for her book Enclave, from Goodreads:
"New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known."
I wanted to know some more about how the revising for Enclave went, so I asked her:
"I've been taking some editing courses and I'm very interested in how a book goes from first draft to final product. Take us through the revision process for Enclave. What was your experience like working with your editor? Did Enclave go through some major transformations along the way, or did it turn out roughly the way you'd envisioned? Were there any scenes cut that you miss, or ones added that you didn't have in the original (that you can tell us without spoiling, of course)? Apparently it was titled Razorland originally – what was the reasoning for using the title Enclave instead?"
And here is Ann's response:
"I wrote the draft for Enclave and then I sent it to beta readers. Some suggestions came back, so I did my first round of revisions. Then I sent it to my agent. She thought it was good, so she pitched it, and we sold it. The book had multiple offers, and it sold fast. Once I had an editor on the project, she gave me revision notes. I added some scenes and clarified some points, added description, and that kind of thing. I added another layer of detail in copyedits, and although this doesn't generally happen, I added a little more in the proof stage as well. Usually by this point, the book is more or less final, and you're only looking for mistakes. But ENCLAVE did change a bit (it got longer) in the galley stage as well. So I revised the book four times before it became the final product. I don't recall that I cut any scenes, but I did add some.
The marketing department felt that ENCLAVE represented the book better, so Razorland became the series name. This is better because it describes the whole world more than just one book. The world Deuce and Fade live in is sharp and hard and it will draw blood when you least expect it. Whereas ENCLAVE addresses the events in the first book. I also like that I can then develop a naming convention for the rest of the books in the series. Tentatively, books two and three are entitled OUTPOST and HORDE. I've written the second one, and it's been revised once, but I'm waiting for the official editorial notes on it, so I can add to the scenes that require it. I always want editorial input for that because I don't want to bloat the book by guessing what it needs. There comes a point when I really need a professional eye on what I've written.
Unlike most authors, I love revisions. Rough drafts are tough for me because I'm creating something from nothing. Revisions, however, are where I get to take a product and polish it to a high shine. That's great fun. I love realizing what a book needs or receiving an insight from my editor. Often, I'm like, yes, totally. It does need that. And then I get to refine my work. It's quite lovely."
Thanks for that insight into your revision process, Ann!
And now for the giveaway: thanks to the publisher (Feiwel & Friends), I am able to offer a copy of Enclave to one winner, randomly selected. It is open internationally, and the publisher will be mailing the book directly to the winner. I like to keep my giveaways simple, so while following and tweeting are always appreciated, it's just one entry per person. Giveaway ends April 30 at 11:59 pm EST.
This contest is now closed.
Also, look for my review of Enclave coming soon!