Today is day #5 of March Book Madness. If you’ve missed any of the other posts, go check them out. They’ve been awesome. Here’s the list.
Today Jessica Khoury is here, author of Origin, a YA dystopian novel coming September 2012 from Razerbill/Penguin. The cover is awesome and the synopsis is even better:
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home–and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life. Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin–a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.
Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost. (more details here.)
Awesome, right? So I am uber-excited to have the uber-talented Jessica chat with us today on editing.
1) Wait. Give yourself some time away from your manuscript. Don’t jump straight into the editing the day or even week you finish writing. (I did this; the result was my sending off a manuscript to agents that was in dire need of help. I’m lucky it got picked up at all.) During this “cool-off” period, read a lot, watch movies or whatever, go camping—anything to distract you. Reading is best, in my opinion, because it not only steals your mind away from your book, it also gets you in the “reading” mood, so you can approach your book from the perspective of an objective reader more easily.
2) Listen to your gut. The more objectively you approach your manuscript—meaning you’re looking at it as a reader, not a writer, and that you’ve had sufficient time to “forget” the story—the easier this will be. Pay attention to your physical responses to the story. Yes, it sounds loony, but trust me on this. It works.
3) Spice it up. There’s always room for a little more punch, a little more zing. Pull out the most tense, important scenes in the story and ask yourself What can I add to make this even more tense? What would make the stakes even higher at this moment?
Bio: Jessica Khoury is of Syrian and Scottish descent, and was born and raised in Toccoa, Georgia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Toccoa Falls College. Origin is her first novel. She still lives in Toccoa with her husband Ben, where she writes and coaches youth soccer. You can visit her online at www.jessicakhoury.com, on facebook, or on twitter@jkbibliophile.
Rebecca: Love the tips, Jessica! Number two spoke loudly to me because I’ve gone through my current WIP hundreds of times (maybe not, but it feels like it), yet there is one section that makes me cringe every time. I keep thinking, No, I have to have it in there. I guess today I’ll be rewriting or hitting the delete key altogether. Or maybe I can spice it up. Nope. Already tried that. Delete key here I come.
And I completely agree with what you said about details. We all love a book that becomes so vivid in our minds we can picture the whole thing–then we freak out when the movie doesn’t get it just right. (I’m hoping this doesn’t happen for me tonight at Hunger Games.) And it doesn’t even take lengthy descriptions to make it happen. Just vivid, powerful adjectives, smells, sounds, something. Spice it up, make it glitter. Love it.
Thanks again Jessica for visiting us over here. We look forward to reading your YA novel, Origin, come fall. And again, if you haven’t checked it out yet, go. Now. Here. :)
How about you? What ways have you found to spice up your manuscript? Have you had that gut reaction to a particular scene? How have you upped the stakes in your book? Have you added Origin to your to-read pile on goodreads yet?