Friday, August 5, 2011

Revision timeline

First of all, thank you all so much for coming to play with me yesterday! I had such a good time getting to talk to everyone. A special thanks to Katrina for the wonderful introduction!

And now, onto today's post...

I like to keep moving. I'm the type who prefers walking to work over sitting on a bus trapped in morning traffic. Sure, the bus might break out of the gridlock and get ahead of me, but it'll still feel like I got there faster.

When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about it. I'm outlining, or plotting, or sometimes I just walk around my neighborhood and let the scenes play out in my head. Revisions are the same way. I can make very big changes very quickly, so my instinct is to charge full speed ahead.

That works out for me sometimes. But as I wait on my revision notes, I know that's not something I want to do this time around. This agent's clients are amazing. I really want to step up my game and make these revisions the best they can possibly be. I want to think through every angle of each suggestion before I go ahead and make the changes.

It's daunting, but I don't think it's impossible. I mean, if I managed to turn myself from an impulse buyer to a frugal shopper, nothing's impossible! But it helps if I give myself steps to follow. Here are mine:

- Don't touch the manuscript until you get the notes! But maybe write up some supplemental material for the mythology and such.

- When you receive the notes, read them over carefully, then reread the MS with those notes in mind.

- Set aside two weeks to just think about the edits, and write up a set of notes of your own. Don't start the changes until this period is over.

- Once this period ends, begin changes, and hope that you didn't tear too much of your hair out in the interim. Give MS a couple more passes on your own, then ship it off to betas for their opinion.

- Do a victory dance. Background music to be determined.

Easy enough, right? In theory, anyway. I think it'll be so worth it in the long run.

What about you guys? What kind of reviser are you? What kind of reviser do you want to be?

4 comments:

  1. Very wise! I know my CPs hate it when I send them my full MS and then two days later ask if I can send them an updated version. :) In this biz, waiting and letting the thoughts simmer are the best and hardest things to do. :)

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  2. I'm also really quick when I do revisions, and sometimes I miss things because of it. I did a full line edit about a month ago, but still when I get edits back from CPs I'm astounded by how much I've missed. I think going a little slower would help me not have to go through the MS so many times :)

    But sometimes making the quick decisions is good for me. If my initial reaction at seeing a CPs edit is "Oh, she's right, I don't need that," then I go ahead and change it right away, because I'm the kind of person who is constantly second guessing herself :) If I don't do it that way, I'll end up keeping clauses and phrases that really don't add anything to the story just because I'm unsure. And I need to get my word count down ;)

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  3. I'm quick with writing, slow with revisions. I completely agree that you need to let revision ideas percolate before acting on them. It'll make everything more cohesive when you do attack with revision pens.

    From your newb follower :)

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