L.K. Madigan (lkmadigan) wrote,
L.K. Madigan
lkmadigan

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Tim Gunn Visits the Workroom in My Head Again

Project Novel - The Summer Season

Project Runway will finally be back on August 20th – I can’t wait! This time it’s airing on Lifetime, so don’t miss it.

In the meantime, Tim offers me some editorial feedback on my new book. Enjoy!


Tim steps into the workroom, looking fit and relaxed. “Authors,” he calls. “May I ask you to gather around?”

“Tim!” says Lisa. “Hi, I’ve missed you. And, uh, it’s just me.”

“Oh, that’s right,” says Tim. “We have to isolate you writers, otherwise you never get anything done.” He moves closer to the worktable and studies her work-in-progress. “Tell me about this.”

“Okay, but first … did you hear the news?”

“What news?”

“That novel you critiqued? It won! It’s going to make its debut in my Fall 2010 line!”

“Lisa, that’s wonderful! I’m so pleased.” Tim takes off his glasses to dab at his eyes. “You know how proud I am of all my authors.”

Lisa nods, tearing up a little, too. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“Well, now, that’s pure hyperbole, but I like a little hyperbole in my day.” He chuckles and puts his glasses back on. “So! This appears to be a contemporary realistic YA novel.”

“Yes.” Lisa straightens up.

“Another teen boy narrator, I see,” says Tim. He directs a piercing gaze at her over the top of his glasses. “Before we go any further, I feel I must warn you.”

Lisa waits nervously.

“It is imperative that you distinguish the voice of this main character from the voice of Blake, the narrator of your first book.”

“Right, absolutely!” says Lisa. “I’m working hard on that.”

“Good, good.” Tim rests a finger on his cheek. “First person, present tense again?”

“Yes.” Lisa tries not to sound defensive. “I like the immediacy when I’m writing in a boy’s voice.”

Tim turns the novel around, appraising it from another angle. “The setting is … interesting. Will it strain credulity?”

Lisa blanches. “Uh, I hope not.”

“Hmm.” Tim taps his cheek, then sighs. “I want you to remember that I’m here to help you. So please take this criticism in the spirit in which it’s intended.”

“Okay.”

“It’s just that … I’m concerned about your taste level.”

Lisa freezes.

Tim points to some eye-popping details. “This is a lot of adornment for one chapter.”

“I … I see what you mean. I’ll scale back.”

Tim lifts the story arc, peering at it in confusion. “What happened to the middle?”

“Well,” says Lisa. “I, uh, got a little lost in the middle. I’m still stitching together scenes to connect the narrative.”

“Lisa, these plot holes are a huge problem.”

“I know. I’m not finished. But the climax is good, right? And the ending?”

Tim examines the later chapters, then says seriously, “It’s stunning.”

Lisa beams.

“The details mesh nicely here, and as I always tell my authors …”

“God is in the details,” Lisa says in unison with him.

He smiles. “Well, I’ll leave you to it, then, with one final caveat: there’s a fine line between edgy and questionable. Don’t lose sight of that line.”

“I won’t.”

“Make it work!”


Oh Tim, I ever endeavor …
Tags: tim gunn in my head, writing life
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