Saturday, May 21, 2011

You will have much luck and little hardship, or the other way around (Lauren Bjorkman)

My Invented Life underwent many changes before an editor saw it. I had two active critique groups going, plus an interested agent who gave me volumes of feedback. After Holt bought it in early 2008, my editor only asked for a brief rewrite, which took me six weeks.

My experience with my second book, Miss Fortune Cookie, has been incredibly different.

Revision #1 took 3 months

But I made a wrong turn

Revision # 2 took 6 months

I changed the protest in my story to one based on real events (see video)

plus a hundred other things.

Revision #3 took 3 months

I wrote more Miss Fortune Cookie letters into the story, for instance:

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My best friend stole my boyfriend. Now she’s going to the prom with him. Is it wrong to give her Mono by drinking from her soda can at lunch?


Dear Tempted

Can you really give someone Mono by drinking from her can? I wish they taught us useful things like that in Bio.

Seriously, though, Confucius said: Before embarking on a path of revenge, first dig two graves. Are you still friends with her? If so, tell her how you feel. If you are no longer friends, revenge won’t make anything better.

Miss Fortune Cookie

plus fifty other things

Now I’m three days shy of completing Miss Fortune Cookie and positively giddy with anticipation; the champagne and firecrackers are waiting on ice (joke).

The final day of writing won’t be about brilliance, word count, or intense breakthroughs. It will be about perseverance. I hope my editor loves it. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


  1. Thanks for sharing your process. "Tempted's" letter is hysterical--makes me want to read the book!

  2. So excited for you, Lauren! Fingers and toes crossed! Can't wait to read this one :D

  3. Your Miss Fortune Cookie sounds like great fun. Good luck!

  4. Still haven't finished, but hope to tonight!