Monday, January 22, 2007

Revisions - Word By Word

I don't really mind doing revisions. It's like panning for gold in a lot of ways. You're fingers freeze and cramp up from all the work. You get cranky when people disturb your concentration. You've even been known to go off the deep end and let your children eat cake for breakfast. But in the end it's all worth it. You find that nugget of pure pleasure among all the crap.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I would rather write ten first drafts than have to sit down and focus on my word choice, sentence structure, character development, and the over all flow of the book. I also suck at math. In my (all be it limited) experience, people who are very analytical are really good at making their way through revisions. They see the patterns emerging in the text, how the characters react to certain stimuli, and where that will take them. Analytical people seem to have that focus that I lack.

Now I'm not saying I won't do this. It may come in smaller bursts and over a longer period of time, but I am able to force myself to think this way. I have to, or else my manuscript will completely suck. But this isn't a skill that comes naturally to me. I have to work hard at it. But in the end it does pay off. I do see the reward of having a much stronger manuscript than when I started.

Why is this on my mind? I was trying to work on revisions all day yesterday. Between trying to clean up my house, do the laundry, play with my kids, and give my loving husband time to crack fill the room we are trying to finish, it was a crazy day. But I managed to stick to my guns and cross the 70,000 word count with Bottled Up.

The only thing that would have made the day better would have been if the Patriots had won (How can you be up that much at half time and still loose?!?!?!?!)


Angela/SciFiChick said...

I don't like football, so it was quite annoying to hear screaming coming from neighbors late last night (while I was trying to sleep). I said to myself, "Guess the Colts won."
Yep, our team is going to the Superbowl finally. It's very cool. But it's wasted on me.
I'd rather wash my hair...

Unknown said...

I'm actually a bad Canadian because I'm not a hockey fan at all, and much prefer football. Of course my husband had something to do with that. :)

It was a heartbreaker. :(

Vicky said...

I'm with Angela!

Excepts I'm worse - I didn't even know who was playing....and the screaming was coming from my living room, where my wonderful husband watched the game! :)

...but I hate hockey too... actually... anything that sounds like exercise pretty much sucks for me. I know, it's not actually us who exercise as we watch it, but phewwww... all that running or scating around! I need to down a whole box of chocolates just to make up for their burned calories! :)

And congratulations on 70,000! A little Yay! And a little cheer for you!

Vicky said...

I'm soooo skilled at my spelling!

Scating...??? Dear God, I need coffee!

Amy Ruttan said...

ERG, blogger ate my comment. Bad Blogger, Bad!

I have to agree with Angela ... but I don't really like any sport except cricket and mountain climbing. I don't know why.

Yay for making it to 70,000. I looked at my NaNo, thought I could start editing it again. NOPE.

Kelly Boyce said...

Congrats on the revisions!

Stacy said...

Congrats on all the hard work.

Revisions are rough. I'm just starting on revising my work-in-progress. While I know it is becoming a much better manuscript, I worry that it will never be good enough.

Unknown said...

Hello Stacy! I hear you about never thinking it will be good enough. I'm like that with every story I write. Sometimes you have to go with your gut and leave it alone. I find that the hardest thing in the world to do. Sometimes, we just have to have faith that it's good enough. :)