Behind the Book is an exclusive feature at Muggle-Born that gives readers an inside look into the editorial process of some of our favorite books. Plot changes, lost characters, and many more interesting topics are tackled in an interview with the author.
Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Did You Know?
- The first draft took six months to write – which is fast for Maurissa Guibord!
- Originally, there was a character named Brooke in the book, but she ended up being cut out.
- WARPED was first titled THE SILVER THREAD
- Read on to find out more Behind the Book info about WARPED!
How many months did it take for you to write the original draft of WARPED?
The first draft took me about 6 months to write. Which is actually quite fast for me! I’m a really slow writer- it takes time for the story to come to me. With this book one of my best friends read each chapter as I wrote. This was a tremendous gift- because her excitement about the story and “what happens next” kept me going!
How long did the overall production of your book take from the moment you got your agent to the final publication date?
It was about two years.
Throughout the editorial process were there any significant changes to your story in terms of plot?
Yes, there were quite a few changes in the plot. But it was a wonderful process because my editor, Michelle Poploff, would basically ask questions and challenge me to find better answers or solutions to a problem. For example, she thought that we had to “raise the stakes” for my main character Tessa as the story progressed. This meant creating a bigger conflict, harder choices and more devastating consequences if she failed. It was up to me to find a way to accomplish that. A lot of revising is creative problem-solving. It can be quite fun. And a bit terrifying.
Some writers express concerns about having an editor “tell you what to do”. But from my experience it’s nothing like that. In fact, having someone to give suggestions or point out problems is fantastic. Much better than trying to figure out everything by yourself all the time. My agent, Ted Malawer, also makes fantastic editorial suggestions.
Did you lose any characters along the way or go through any name changes?
I did lose a minor character- Brooke- a high school “mean girl” who seemed like a real cliche until you got to know her character. Unfortunately she didn’t have a lot to do with the main plot- and so couldn’t get developed very well without going off on a tangent that didn’t move the story forward. So I ended up cutting her out completely.
What was the most challenging part of writing and the editorial process?
The challenging part about writing for me is just to keep moving forward in the story. It’s very easy to lose confidence while you’re writing, to forget that you are telling a story. I get so bogged down sometimes in figuring out “Okay, what perspective should this be from, and what is this character’s background, and how do I describe this scene?” Worrying too much about how to convey the information. In the first draft- I just need to concentrate on getting the story out- and then worry about those other things later. I have to give myself a mental smack and tell myself “Relax. You’re just telling a story.” Sometimes it even works.
The editorial process for me is very enjoyable. Yes, it’s still hard work- but it’s really gratifying to think- “I have a completed story, I know what happens. Now everything I do from here on is just going to make it better and better.”
Did WARPED go through any title changes?
Very early on I called the manuscript THE SILVER THREAD. But I changed it to WARPED pretty quickly because it was just the perfect play on words for a story involving tapestry threads and time-travel! (In weaving terms, the warp threads are the lengthwise threads on a loom)
What did it feel like to have the final copy of the book in your hands?
It was a bit unreal to tell you the truth. To see a “real” book with my name on the beautiful cover seemed so extraordinary- even though I had been there for every bit of work along the way. It also felt very finished and removed from me- a far cry from those stacks of rumpled and marked up pages held together with thick rubber bands. I felt proud of the finished book but there was a sense of letting it go, and moving on to the next story. And I was also a bit afraid to read it, believe it or not. There are things that I would write differently if I was writing the story today- so it makes me squirm a bit to see things that I’d want to change.
Thanks for stopping by Maurissa! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my review of WARPED as well as pick up a copy of the book!