Friday, July 8, 2011

Blogging Wins

When I need a good distraction from my revisions (right now, for example), I wander around in the blogosphere. And I just saw this post on Charity Bradford's author blog. SO cool!

And SO scary. Only two other people have read my current WIP, and it was like pulling teeth to surrender the pages to them. I'm nervous about feedback from another author, but at the same time, I crave it. This is a wonderful opportunity.

It's so much harder for me to be in the revision stage. Writing comes easily to me, and it's bliss to spend hours generating a new work. However, when the time has come to go over that work with a fine tooth comb, I get a little squeamish. In an attempt at honing my skills, I purchased "Revision and Self Editing" from the Write Great Fiction series: I'm thinking about reading it over the weekend and taking a break from my revision process.

So far, I've spent the last two days working through my YA fantasy novel: I've only got about 60 pages left for the first set of revisions, then I'll leave it alone for awhile so things can settle. I'm also plugging away on book two, which gives me the freedom to spend at least some of my work day in the bliss of creation.

Which is easier for you, original writing or revision? Any tips to make revision an easier pill to swallow?


  1. Congrats on winning a critique! How awesome. They're completely and totally invaluable. I enter every contest I can to win one of those babies.

    Original writing is easier for me. It just flows, you're excited about the idea, it frankly doens't have to make sense anywhere but in the miasma of my mind. By revision stage, it's not new and shiny anymore and you're just a little bit tired of the story sometimes and sexy new ideas are trying to tempt you away . . .

    Here are a couple of things I found useful for the WiP I just revised:

    I printed the manuscript. It forced me to look at the big picture and make hard changes and choices rather than dive right in to line edits.

    I used a four part box - a chart with four boxes - Keep opposite Revise, Delete opposite Add. For each chapter, I printed one copy of the chart. Then I reviewed each chapter, along with the comments made on that chapter by each crit partner, and filled out the chart, thinking carefully about elements that belonged in each box.

    After that, I created a new draft and implemented the notes from the charts and the printed copy. It really made me think about the macro revision, rather than the tinkering I was inclined to do.

    I found I needed the structure to my revision, or I wasn't really accomplishing much!

  2. I love the chart idea!! How long did you spend revising your WIP?

  3. I love the original writing, dread the revision process. I know it's necessary. Good luck with the critique.

  4. Now I'm excited to dig into your chapter! Hopefully my comments will be helpful. Just be warned I usually ask tons of questions. Basically I comment whatever I'm thinking as I read so you can see how your writing is affecting at least one reader.

    Just remember its all subjective and use what strengthens the story you want to write.

    I prefer the original writing too. The freedom of just writing is liberating. Talk to you soon!

  5. About 4 months for a good solid revision. There were a couple more drafts after that before I queried, but not major overhauls with charts and whatnot.

    I work full time so I have limited time to write. It would have gone faster if I could devote more time to it. However, I will say sometimes the time and distance are really valuable. It's so tempting to jump right in - but sometimes you need a break to be able to see clearly again.

  6. I usually print mine out before revising, too.
    Having said that, the last time I actually had a nice chunk of time and the opportunity to revise, I didn't have the physical draft or a printer--just the laptop but I got more done!
    Either way, take it in pieces/chunks. Good luck!

  7. Thanks, all! And Lory, I haven't forgotten your email...when do I get to read some more of yours??