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?


  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. :)

  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 ;)

  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 :)