Finding the Words

a blog devoted to the art, craft, and frustration of writing

The Revision April 15, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — itsy @ 2:11 pm

For the last several days I’ve been chomping on the bit, preparing to rewrite. I want to wait on it, to develop the “fresh eyes” I’ll need to look at it a little more objectively than now. But I also realized I have no clue as to how to go about revising.

I’ve sent my novel off to my writing buddy and my sister for reading. Sending it to the later was hard to do–I have almost never let family read my fiction in the past, and I have a rather tense/ competitive relationship with my sister, but in the end I decided I wanted her feedback more than I was scared of what she might say (“This is all crap! How could you waste your time on this?”) At some point I’ll let my poor betrothed read it. Out of all of them, he, perhaps, deserves most to read it, having been the brunt of neglect for the past few weeks (“Not tonight, honey, I have to finish this chapter!”)

I’m gradually arming myself with information. A quick Google search led me to author Holly Lisle’s site, which has a wealth of helpful information. Furthermore, she’s not afraid of transparency, and reveals her struggles to make it work, hints at how much money she makes, how to do taxes, etc. I appreciate and admire transparency in authors, and vow when (if?) my time comes, I, too, will be fully transparent.

As with all advice, though, you have to consider who’s giving it. I’m not sure I want to write like she does. So I’m reading another extremely helpful book, Self -Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. This is full of good stuff, not only advice on where and how to cut, but a checklist of items you should look out for while trolling through your manuscript.

Another less helpful but interesting book is Noah Lukeman’s The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life. At times this book reads more like a rant on Lukeman’s pet peeves, and much of the info is standard (show don’t tell, focus on characters, etc etc) without much else to make it worthwhile. In fact, I don’t know that I’d recommend anyone buy this book if they already have good guides. But I have it so I’m reading it.
I want to be good and ready when I start revising, because I want to make this the best darn novel it can be. I already have ideas on what needs improving. I’m sure I’ll discover more. I’m starting to get geeked about this; I think it will be fun. A friend of mine told me she loved rewriting. I thought she was crazy, but now I see, this is where the real magic happens.

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