Friday, March 18

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

This week we're talking about revisions. I've always said I hated them, but the truth is I don't mind doing them once. It's when I have to go in for a second or third look that I get crazy. I start to hate my own story. When it comes to that, I walk away and work on something else. I have to let myself miss the characters and the plot.

Actually, becoming tired of your own story doesn't really sound that weird. Think about it. What's your favorite book? Now imagine having to read that same book every day for a year. You'd get sick of it, right? You'd want something new.

What I find tiresome is that no matter how many times I revise, I find those worrisome typos that managed to get by me the last few times I looked at the story. Ack! Drives me crazy every time.

With my new wip, I'm trying something a little different. A dirty draft. I'm not even changing typos. When I get stuck, that's when I'll go back and look at previous chapters. Maybe do a little editing. It's working out pretty well for me.

What about you? Have you changed your revision routine. How do you keep from getting sick of your own story during the revision process?


  1. Let us know how that works out. I've never tried it, but it could certainly be a time-saver.

  2. Will do Liz. Right now, it's coming along pretty well.

  3. Yay, Shawn! I just too a workshop about dirty-drafting/fast-drafting, whatever you want to call it. Very interesting stuff.

  4. Shawn, I rarely rewrite until the first draft is done. I don't know what the story is about - and undoubtedly I have to go back and re-do plot points, put them in earlier (or later) in order to make the whole thing work.

    I'll go through it at the VERY end of my process and do the final spell and grammar check, ensuring chapter headings are accurate, and I make the first 50 pages as spotless as I possibly can for queries and contests. But usually I do 4 to 5 drafts total.

    (The book I just finished editing went through 9 iterations - 5 of my own and 4 with my editor.) The truth? You've got to be passionate about your stories because you will be with them for a long time, especially when they sell!

    Have fun!

  5. I haven't ever tried that method, but I might sometime!

  6. I write the entire first draft before I go back and revise. I find it saves me work because even though I plot, I still don't know exactly everything that happens. It also helps me to focus my revisions when I know what direction to take them.

    Something new I'm trying is putting it away for a couple of weeks between each major reworking. For instance, I just finished the first draft of my novel. I'm putting it away for 2-3 weeks before starting revisions. Then I'll go through and do major revisions. Then put away. Then go through again, etc.

    I'm hoping the time away will help me bring fresh eyes to it each time and cut down on how many passes I need to make.

  7. If you think revising on your own is bad, wait until an editor gets ahold of it and tells you (further) what is wrong with it and needs fixing...over and over...LOL

    My best solution when working through the initial drafts is to let it sit for a time (at least 2 weeks) without peeking at it and work on something else. Then the text is fresh and errors pop right out.