Friday, August 28, 2009

Your revisions process...

...I'm wantin' it.

So I finished my latest WIP, PoloGRRL (PG), this week. (insert BIG RELIEVED SIGH here) My agent is really looking forward to this one, although now it's come time to revise the MS I finished before starting this one (The Forester's Son - FS). (This one, PG, rather hit like a hammer, and I finished it in about three months).

The MS I'm preparing to revise (FS) is a dearly loved one of mine, though. Took a looong time to finish, mainly because it's one where the idea is better than my ability to bring it through in a first draft. It's going to take two or three or even four, which is a longer process than any book I've had up to now (as well as the recently finished MS.)

Which got me thinking about revision processes. Are you able to judge your first draft? For me, I know the most recent (PG) will take one revision, maybe two. The revelations and twists were there, all the time, and came at the appropriate moments during the writing process. But for the one I'm speaking of (FS) it has been an uphill struggle. And thus, will take longer.

But it's a much more complicated book, just generally all round...more. And I do think when I nail the eventual revisions, it will be a fantastic book.

It's just the starting that's hard.

And you? How are you with judging your revisions?


  1. Not very good! Okay, kidding on that one. I normally figure that the writing process is about five to six drafts long. The rough draft (get the idea out of my head and onto the paper) starts the process. The First Draft is where I flesh out the characters. The next couple of drafts are where I read through, fix things, change things, tighten things, and all that jazz. Then, I send it out to some beta readers. Then, review . . . well, you get the picture.

    My normal measure of whether the project is ready to query is if I can pretty much read through the manuscript without going crazy with the red pen. : )


  2. I need other eyes. I tend to want to correct grammar first when much more needs my eyes in the first look over.
    ~ Wendy

  3. When I finish the first draft I think,*how brilliant*, then the truth sets in. I set it aside and think about who the characters are and what they are really trying to do or say. So I go back and fix it so that they do or say things the way they want. Then I trim all the fat. Now it's ready for the beta readers. Then I fix what they catch.

  4. I usually set aside my work and look at it later. When later comes I see how much I need to correct/tweak.
    I also have a critique group and they are a big help.

  5. My first revision is usually not very good. My story will typically evolve as I write and I don't go back and update early details, subplots, etc, while I write. I create inconsistencies, characters change (maybe even hair color), the story may take a different turn, etc. all while getting words on the page.

    I try to take care of most of that as I wrap up revising the first draft, but I'm not always successful.

    Two things help.

    1. After the first draft is completed, leave it on the shelf for a few weeks.

    2. Read it aloud. This can be very embarrassing, but can really help with pacing and flow.

  6. My first revision after proofreading is pretty tight. Mainly because my beta readers are so critical and opinionated (I WIN BETA READERS).

    I'm certainly learning as a go. My first novel (that I showed someone else) I revised five times. My second, only three). Maybe I can get it down to two with enough practice.

    Man, that would rule.


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