Welcome to my stop on the Summer of Jinn Blog Tour. I don’t know about you guys, but I love learning more about the processes authors go through when writing their books. Lori Goldstein, author of Becoming Jinn, was nice enough to write a guest post about revising and her personal struggle with her stubbornness. 🙂
Overcoming the Stubborn Gene: A Revision Lesson
“So, I’ve been thinking about the ending of Becoming Jinn,” my stellar agent says one day on a phone call prior to submission.
The ending of Becoming Jinn is a bit controversial. Readers would either love it or hate it. I loved it. And I wanted to keep it as much as I feared I wouldn’t be able to.
This particular call with my stellar agent came after a two-month revision of the manuscript in preparation for submission. Now, mind you, stellar agent’s suggestions had involved some intense reworking—moving things from the third act to the first, from the second to the third, changing a character’s role from a friend to a brother, beefing up scenes and magic rules. It was a lot of work. It was also 100 percent necessary. Her suggestions were spot on and helped me to create a strong manuscript I loved more than the original. But her initial feedback never touched the ending. I thought I was safe. The ending I Ioved, the ending some people told me I should change, was going to stay.
Until, one day, on the cusp of submission, she calls with one final thought: to change the location of the ending scene.
My initial reaction was, “I’m not changing the ending, no how, no way!” My next was, “No more revisions! I’m done!” And here you are getting a glimpse into the Lori who has three-quarters Italian blood, meaning she can be a tad stubborn.
Which is why it’s a very good thing she has critique partners willing to call her on it. My good friend and CP listened to my whining and then, tactfully, said, “I hear you, but what can it hurt to try? You don’t have to use it.”
She was right. My agent said this was up to me. It was my call. So what could it hurt to try? The setting my agent had suggested didn’t feel right, but her questioning the location set my brain a’ storming and the one I came up with felt and still feels—two years later—like the perfect one. It completes the arc of the book and the character.
And this is why writing a book is very far from a solo endeavor. We need people around us who will not only spark our creativity, but help us overcome our own DNA.
My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.
Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog atwww.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.
Click here to enter the SUMMER OF JINN Blog Tour Giveaway! Lori’s giving away two $20 gift cards: one to her local indie Harvard Bookstore and one to B&N! Redeemable in person or online. Open internationally. And she’s also running a special promotion in honor of the summer season. Buy #BecomingJinn by July 30 and receive free bracelet temporary tattoos. More info on Lori’s blog: http://www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com/2015/06/30/beach-read/