Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Batshit Crazy = Raging Success?

Ok, so if you read this blog on a regular basis you know that we have an obsession for all things Bravo, and today it occurred to me that there might actually be a reason for this, a reason aside from my unfulfilled desire for a gay boyfriend.

Here's the thing with Bravo, whether you're tuned into The Rachel Zoe Project, Flipping Out, Top Chef or even Miami Social, you're watching people at the top of their game professionally. These are people who work insanely hard, oftentimes at the expense of their social life and families (Yes, Katrina, I'm looking at you). So here's my theory, maybe in order to be that good at something, that driven, you have to be just a little crazy.

A few weeks ago Laura and I received some really fantastic feedback on The Haunting of Pemberly Brown. Feedback that required a major rewrite, we're talking additions of major characters, completely retooling the central mystery of the book. Major.

Now initially we resisted the idea. The thought of doing another revision sort of made our stomachs hurt. But after 24 hours of really thinking about the things the editor brought to our attention, we knew it had to be done and we knew the end result would be a stronger, more marketable book.

So we did it. We worked day and night. We lived and breathed Kate Lowry and her cohorts for 2 weeks. We sent chunks of the manuscript to our amazing beta readers and got instantaneous feedback. And when we sent the final version to Major Agent, our suspicions were confirmed. We nailed it. She loved the new version.

Is it crazy to completely rewrite your 85,000 word novel in two weeks? Yes. Were our husbands ready to divorce us? Absolutely. Did our children watch enough Noggin to turn their small brains to mush? Um....we plead the 5th.

Bravo reality stars, we salute you and your insane quest for perfection. What about you guys? Do you have a bit of the crazy in you?


JAlexander said...

I love Bravo - love, love, love it!!

I think Addicted to Beauty should be on there - that's an Oxygen show right?

Anyway - I agree to succeed and take thing to an amazing level, you need to be a bit crazed. Maybe not crazy yourself - but be willing to step into areas beyond our comfort zones.

Tess said...

What a great experience - thanks for sharing. Funny how we are learning so many of the same lessons as we go through this submission process. My recent re-write was going back to one certain editor on an exclusive..she is soon to leave on vacation, so I had three days to get it done. Needless to say, my kids hated me. But, I've made it up to them with ice cream dinners and no chores.

Can't wait to see that book of yours someday. I know it'll be awesome!!

Kimberly Derting said...

That's *exactly* what the revision process is like for and breathe. (the only reason I'm here right now is that the coffee is still brewing...can't write without coffee)

Today we will run out of milk, lunchmeat, anything that resembles produce, and all things dinner related, and I have no intention of leaving revision-land to go to the store. Eventually, hubby will notice and ask me to make a list.

Batshit crazy, you betcha. Driven, hells yeah!

Sara Raasch said...

Um...there are people who AREN'T crazy? I didn't know non-crazies existed. Intriguing.

Katie Anderson said...

Dude, I am embarking on crazy as we speak! And yes, it may make the fam nutty as well - thank goodness my little chickens are past the noggin phase and I can spend hours alone a day writing and revising. But my book is gonna rock. (at least I hope so)

PS. I tivo'd my first ever episode of Flippin' Out. I shall watch and report today :-)

Can't WAIT to read Kate. Can. not. wait.

confused homemaker said...

Bravo is beyond amazing. And yes Oxygen comes in a close second (Addicted to Beauty is there).

Embrace your batshit crazy selves. It only means success (right?)

Christina Lee said...

oh yeah- I was clawing at the walls yesterday just to get some work time in (thus, my son sitting in front of Noggin)-I mean actually have the desire, the drive to work? yeah not usually me, but now- HELL YES!! Crazy as a bat! Can't wait to hear how it all pans out- go team Lisa and Laura!!!

Loretta Nyhan said...

You need little crazy sprees every once in a while. No harm done. And Noggin is preschool for kids who have busy mommies, right?

I work hard to keep my Bravo to a minimum, though I do watch New York Prep and all those (truly batshit crazy) housewives.

Anonymous said...

This makes so much sense...I now realize why I like Bravo too. LOL

Hope you're doing well!!
Jenna Woj

ChristaCarol Jones said...

A bit of crazy? In me? That's an understatement :P But I applaud you both for putting your butts in the fire and getting it done so quickly, and I totally understand where you're coming from. I had a writing partner from our workshop give me some feedback I didn't like at first, chewed it over for a day, then the epiphany hit and I rewrote my 100K novel into a 90K novel, granted it took me 4 months instead of 2 weeks (but Hey, I DID just have a baby so that counts for something right?)

Great job you two!

Oh, and I started a writing prompt if you wanna join in (or not, I bet your brain is on strike from writing after all that writing in 2 weeks!)

XiXi said...

Two weeks?! Did you eat? Or sleep? Or was it Twizzlers and beer for that whole time? Well, maybe not beer, that probably impairs your ability to write, somewhat. Somewhat.


Elana Johnson said...

I don't watch Bravo. But you deserve a BRAVO for your edits! Congrats!

Tana said...

I love project runway, I feed off crazy and I'm a bit jealous you have a major agent ;)

Rebecca Knight said...

Oh, man. I think the piles of dishes on my kitchen counter say "Yes, Becca gets a little obsessed and negligent while revising."

Thank God (literally) for a very understanding husband :). He's crazy, too, so it works well.

lisa and laura said...

Jenna - How have I missed Addicted to Beauty? Setting my TiVo ASAP.

Tess - It's been great sort of going through this process together. Next up - signing contracts and book tours! You up for it?

Kimberly - It's nice knowing we're in good company. I'm already thinking about book 2 and how we'll tweak our process to hopefully have a better first draft. It will definitely be interesting.

Sara - Sort of shocking, right?

Katie - I think crazy attracts crazy. That's why we're all friends.

CH - Another Addicted to Beauty mention? I have got to watch this show!

Christina - It's amazing how doing something that you really love can make you want to work your ass off, isn't it?

Loretta - I quote the preschool on demand thing all the time. Words to live by, sister.

Jenna W!! I miss you! How is life at HA? I could lie and tell you that I miss it, but I don't. Not one single bit. Hope you guys are doing well. I definitely do miss you and Chris, but that's about it.

Christa - We'll definitely check out the writing prompt. Can't promise anything since we have loads of work to do on the WIP. And for the record popping out a baby is a way bigger accomplishment than a revision. Just sayin'.

Icy - We were mainlining diet coke and Twizzlers and sleeping very, very little. The rest of that time is a haze.

Elana - Thanks dude! We're pretty proud of the final product. I don't think you'd even recognize the book anymore. It's so different than the version you read back in February!

T. Anne - I LOVE Project Runway. I especially love the addition of the model show right afterwards. Good times.

Rebecca - I wish my husband was a little crazier. He's one of those in bed by 9 PM up at 5 AM, takes vitamins every day and always makes time to hit the gym, OCD types. I think it drives him a little crazy when I get lost in my writer's world.

Unknown said...

A little crazy, but maybe not that much! lol Way to go!


Rock on! You girls put those Bravo peeps to shame :)

JennyMac said...

I will admit I do miss Queer Eye. And don't watch it as often now.

Good for you on the massive undertaking. I hope it pays off hugely with deals being made and prosecco falling from the sky.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Oh I SO have the crazy! I scare myself sometimes.

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

cant wait to hear what they think! 2 weeks rocks. Took me 4 to rewrite my 80000 YA but you have 2 people :)

Realm Lovejoy said...

I am definitely crazy. Have done revision on whole manuscript in a couple of weeks as well. I feel like when I have the motivation, I have to take it and keep going until it's done.

storyqueen said...

Crazy is just way more fun to watch on TV than non-crazy.

Non-crazy would be, well, really boring.

kind of like my comment.




(stayed up too late watching Toddlers in Tiaras. yes, I am a terrible person)

Weronika Janczuk said...

Sherrie Petersen said...

We're writers. Of course we're crazy! And your husbands won't be complaining when your book hits the bestseller list and you're making as much as J.K. Rowling, right? Crazy? Whatever - crazy pays!

Jeannie Lin said...

When something like this hits, I literally tell myself when the alarm wakes me up at 4am -- "How much do you want it?"

Crazy like a fox, I say! Congrats on the successful revisions.

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