how to prepare for a revision

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed at the thought of re-reading and revising one of my works in progress. The good news is that I finally have some time off to work on this book, which is truly a blessing. The bad news: that means that instead of picking away consistently at the revision over the course of months, I’ll be attempting to crunch the entire revision into about two weeks. Not pretty.

You’ve all heard this story before: I get uber-excited about the stretch of time, then weeks later I’m disappointed with what I accomplished. Damaging to the fragile writer ego, I can tell you that much. So, how does one prepare for some hard core revisioning?

1. READ THE DARN BOOK. Before my break actually starts, ideally. Christmas week will likely be busy with family and friends, but I can still read, take notes, start my revision plan.

2. FIND MAGIC. Of the three projects I’ve had churning in my head all year, this one has been around the longest: it’s a YA contemporary fantasy that pulled me out of writer’s block and has already undergone major revisions. I haven’t looked at it since this summer when I shared it with my writing group. I really don’t know what I’ll find. This makes me nervous and anxious – but maybe it will be okay. This book has stuck around for a while. I just need to tap into the magic that made me want to write it, and rewrite it.

3. MUSIC & BOOKS. I need to get myself excited and motivated for this revision. Music is a great way to do that. (Listening the Bowie’s “Joe the Lion” at full volume, I feel like I can do pretty much anything.) Also, I’m reading other books right now to give my brain a break before forging into my own work.

4. WHEN IN DOUBT, BAKE COOKIES. A couple weeks from now I’ll be writing posts about focus and perserverence. But it’s still a holiday, right? I’ll need a break now and then.

And most of all, let’s try and have some fun with our writing, shall we? See here, a lesson in enthusiasm, courtesy of The Muppet Show:

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 12:36 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,


Conjuring, contemplating, pondering…writing is sort of like gathering the ingredients for a magic spell. Or a cake. But more like a magic spell, because you don’t really know what you’ll have when all the ingredients are combined. Like baking a cake and opening the oven and finding a cornish game hen in there. That’s sort of what it’s like.

Here’s what I’ve had in my head for the past week:

I find music hugely inspiring to the creative process. This song sparked something in regards to a new project I would like to work on (when I finally have the time). It’s not like I’ve figured out what should happen in the murky middle, or that I’ve figured out all of the plot points. Nothing that concrete. But I can see them, these characters, these kids, when I listen to this song. They are on a quest. To where, I do not know. But right now the sun is shining on their faces, and they are walking toward their destiny. They know as much about it as I do. We’ll take this quest together.

Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

end of writing weekend

I’m packing it in for the night. I meant to blog more, but I’ve been busy revising and have avoided the internet entirely.

How do I feel about what I’ve managed to accomplish? Anxious, mainly. I did a lot, but there’s so much more left to do. Most of all I feel anxious about going to work tomorrow and being away from my book. It’s like I’m afraid it will morph into something different while I’m away. Or I’ll morph – I’ll start fretting and second-guessing and I’ll think I’ve gone in the wrong direction with this revision. Plus, I’m not sure how this next scene plays out.

Sigh. Okay, I’m done complaining. I did a lot this weekend. And not just note-gathering and outline-writing. Actual writing/revising of my new draft of this book. It’s a good start, at least.

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment  

writing weekend!

Yes, I get to write this weekend – thank goodness! I haven’t had a weekend to devote to writing in some time. Not since I’ve started this revision. I’ve been scribbling on the train, the bus, during lunch at work. Now, a writing weekend. It’s exciting. And scary, since I always have too-high expectations.

That said, I need some writing music. Please forgive my early-90’s weirdness, but I need to go old school with some Siouxsie and the Banshees. I read somewhere that Siouxsie was friends with Billy Idol. I like to think that this is true. According to this video, she clearly has a thing for platinum blond dudes in leather.

Published in: on October 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,