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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A House is Like a Book by Diane Perkins-Diane Gaston

Steph Rowe's Living Well article in this month's Wet Noodle Posse Ezine really hit "home" with me, too, as it did with Merrillee.

Steph talks about putting her house up for sale and having a "stager" come in to advise them on what improvements were necessary to make the house more marketable. What she discovered was, the improvements were easy, inexpensive, and, most importantly of all, made the house all that much more comfortable and pleasant for them now.

I confess to be a frequent watcher of HGTV's Designed to Sell, where a stager comes in and tells homeowners what's wrong with their house. In this show, though, a designer comes with her ideas and workman to do the hard work and it is all done in two days!! I was glad to read Steph's real life experience.

My house, I fear is very much like a "before" house on the show. I look around, just like Steph did, and see so much to be done before we could ever sell. I suspect a stager would have heart palpitations when stepping into our house. I love our house, it is comfortable and lived in, but it isn't designed to sell.

Luckily we aren't selling any time soon, but Steph's advice really hit me. Why not do the improvements now when we can enjoy them?

There is an analogy with writing here.

A house is like a is a work-in-progress. I can fill it with the necessary word count, decorate it with character and conflict and suspense and (my favorite) the growing love between a man and a woman. At some point I can just settle in and feel like it is done, like when I turned in my manuscript to Mills & Boon last November for Tanner's story, The Vanishing Viscountess.

Enter the stager....... my editor, who sent me a set of revisions -- things to fix to make the book more marketable.

Some of them are easy to fix; some take more work, but I'm sure I'll be very happy with the end result, just as Steph has been with her house. My stager will come through again with a fine tooth comb and do copy edits, the nitpicky things like making sure I spell the characters names the same way all the way through or seeing that their eye color doesn't change.

Eventually, though, the house is ready for the market and the book is ready for bookstores and I'll find out if all my tweaking and fixing were worth it. Then it is your turn, the reader, to walk through my open house and (hopefully) decide to buy it!

Cheers to all!

PS The photo is NOT my house!

Diane's next Harlequin Historical Innocence and Impropriety by Diane Gaston will be available at eHarlequin in February and in bookstored in March


At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Judy T said...

What a cool analogy. I have to admit that one of the main reasons I've never finished a manuscript is because I'm terrified of someone telling me I did it wrong. It's a whole different feeling to think of it in terms of someone making it more appealing to a buyer/reader.

Whoever the house belongs to, it's beautiful, and I can hardly wait for Tanner's story.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Thanks, Judy!!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger bridget said...

thanks, Diane, for this awesome post. And thanks for tipping me off about the photo not being your house...I was getting ready to ask if you would please fly out and re-do my place from top to tiles, since that house didn't look like any "before" pic I'd ever seen ;-)


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