Wednesday, December 8, 2010


You know when you get valued feedback on your manuscript and the feedback requires you to write a new story? yeah am there right now, and I keep on telling myself the ability to revise is what makes a great writer.

I have 2 options
1. Write less sucky first drafts to avoid the whole revision process or
2. Actually revise (yikes)

there is a 3rd option but I have conditioned my mind against this long ago

3. Assume the reader did not see my vision - and will take away the essence of my story

Why this won't work (For Me) - I am writing for an audience, chances are if one reader(and I mean widely sold author) did not get my story there are many more who won't (she knows the market), chances are I might have written with my knowledge of the characters but failed to translate them to the pages enough, the possibilities of where I went wrong are endless.
But I also know every published author no matter how high profile they are, have to do rewrites and revisions right?  so I shall take a page out of their books and attack my revisions, I shall hypnotize myself *pulls out stopwatch* Revisions are fun to do, fun to do.

I have some guests (the creators of Five Oaks) coming on later this week or the next, you don't want to miss them, and this friday I have an author who writes about Ninjas and Vampires in the interrogation Room.
Stay Classy Blogosphere
I'm out
Nice 2010


  1. I think the secret to revisions is to just start them. The thought of having to do them (anticipation) is scarier than the process itself. Once you get started, and one idea leads to another and another, the 'writer's rush' will carry you. The excitement in realizing that you're coming up with something even better will carry you.

    I rewrote my first manuscript. In the end, it still wasn't marketable, but it was better than the first version, and the rewrite was an invaluable learning experience.

    Congrats on getting 'experienced' feedback! That's like gold. Good luck with your revisions. Trust your gut and do what feels right (yeh, you've probably heard that like a zillion times):) I'll shut up now.

  2. Oh god, I haaate revision. hate it. Actually started a club for revision haters. Good luck!

  3. Hi,

    Revisions can be fun, sometimes blinding difficult if not knowing exactly what a crit partner has suggested!

    Re pubbed writers always knowing best in what the market or specific publisher wants: not always true.

    Someone mentioned the other day on her blog how suggestions by pubbed crit partner had all been changed back to near original by her editor!

    So too, well-established pubbed writers get dropped by publishing houses. There are two at present trying to acquire publishing deals with other publishers and having no joy. One other once prolific Mills & Boon author -dropped by them - has since picked up a publishing contract elsewhere but it wasn't an easy walk straight back into publishing. So, in truth, few authors are absolute secure in present published positions.

    Another blogger has just been dropped by the publisher she's been with for fifteen years, and she was a mentor for newbies. To say she's gutted is an understatement, but she's had huge support from reader fans as well as same from blogging buddies!

    It's a cut-throat business and not all pubbed critiquers have unpubbed writers' benefits in mind.

    Good luck, though, and may your efforts prosper!


  4. Haa! At least, it's better than an outright reject. I'm afraid i can't comment much on the revision process just yet but just take each day at a time. Good luck with the scary process.

  5. Love the Nice beach :)

    I'm in Revision Hell, too, with The Manuscript That Refuses To Be Done. Arrrggggghhhh!

  6. I agree with Rula ... starting revisions is the hardest part. I remember with my first book, I didn't want to revise. I put it off (in the name of being fresher when I came back), but really I was just procrastinating. But, when I finally did start my revisions, they were easy to get into and went pretty smoothly.

    Unfortunately, I'm at the stage again when I need to start revisions ... Can you come hypnotize me?

  7. Good luck with your revisions!!! I hope the critique was helpful and encouraging and left you feeling good about your talents and abilities. I think for me that's the most important and the best ever critique to ask for. The worst is if the critique made you feel awful without any writerly lifelines thrown to you. I hope your critique made you see that your writing has value and has potential and will with time and edits and hard work be sparkling with perfection!!!

    GOOD LUCK!!! Take care

  8. No one writes the perfect first draft. Revisions are part of the process. Just picture your beautiful beach pics as you dive into your ms. :-) Chocolate helps too.

  9. I hate revisions and edits. Not because I’m above editing, because I’m not. I just get sick of reading my own book so many times. They are necessary though. Although I’ve only written one manuscript so I’m not experienced enough to give advice, I’ll do it anyway. Download a text to speech program and have it read back your entire book to you. You’ll be surprised to hear what your eyes missed.

  10. I hate revisions as well so I'm trying to improve my writing craft to make your #1 happen.

    Looking forward to what you have ahead for us.

  11. Revising is fun!! It's so funny that writers either love the initial writing and hate revisions or vice versa.

  12. Fun to do, Joanna, fun to do. No nodding off now. How about some little treats lined up so that you can reward yourself after a certain number of pages, words or whatever?
    Meanwhile I'll take a slice of that lovely beach.

  13. That made me laugh OUT LOUD. SO true. What's helped me more than anything is getting feedback from a lot of different people. Very often, their markings on only one chapter will help me tremendously with the rest of the book. Each reader has things they pick up on that maybe the rest don't. It's hard to find crit partners but I'm telling you, just a couple of chapters make a huge difference.

    Oh - and when you find a way to make your first draft suck less, tell me how you do it because my first drafts are so filled with repeating words and lack of description, it isn't even funny.

  14. I don't mind revisions. I've already had to do some of it myself though I'm not done the WIP... after some timely advice from a fireman.

  15. I'm in the Write Sucky Draft catagory. Revisions are unavoidable, at least in my world. Thank God I have an awesome editor to help me along the way.

  16. Haha, well, even if you learn to write less "sucky" first drafts, you'd still have to revise. I've heard there's no getting around it. I'm not looking forward to it if I get there (with an agent or editor) but I WILL do it. Sigh. I mean, I want my ms to be the BEST it can be, and if I trust the person who asks for the revision, then I will (grumble and then) get down to it.

  17. I don't like revisions either but they are necessary and I'm sure even the best authors must do them. It's a little like doing laundry. If you want to wear your clothes you have to do it. LOL
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  18. I'm stayin' classy! Ooh, I feel your revision pain. I'm embroiled in them at the moment and it ain't pretty. Good luck!

  19. I'm in the minority because I love revisions. Seeing a manuscript become flesh and blood, and not just bone, is so rewarding.

  20. Hi Joanna, great topic for a newbie! Lots to learn from the topic itself and the comments. Thanks!

  21. I don't mind the revisions when I actually sit down to do them because I love the characters and polishing the story I created. The thing I hate about them is that I have so many other stories I want to work on that the revisions keep me away from! :) I feel like the story I am revising is "done" and I want to work on the stuff that isn't finished yet. The new stuff. If I could just change my mindset so that the revisions are more exciting than we would be good to go! :)

  22. I haven't been to Revisionland. After doing a recommended mid-book review, I should pack my bags now and plan to move there in a month.

    Even if you don't want to revise, your future editor may have other plans. So, in that respect, revisions might be unavoidable. Good luck! You can do it! Looking forward to the upcoming posts you mentioned.

  23. Here's the schedule I came up with since nano.

    1. Hashtag edits. I read somewhere about using hashtags in spots where you need to research, but don't want to break up your writing flow. So I'm about to go through my MS and sort out all the hashtags.

    2. After letting the MS simmer, it's plot edits. Fix the Rhode Island-sized plotholes. Because RI might be a tiny state, but it's a frikkin huge plothole.

    3. Setting edits. I don't like a lot of description, so on this edit I'm going to work the setting into the action.

    4. Character edits. Go through and make sure the characters act like themselves. Also that Jill's 'self' isn't too much like Mary's 'self'.

    5. Line-by-line. Le Mot Juste. Time to look for the right word.

    Of course this is all theoretical right now :)

  24. Yes, fun, fun. I like revising. One does have the option to decide which suggestions are truly helpful. But it is really important to get "objective" feedback. Good luck! Don't give up. Keep trying.
    Ann Best, Long Journey Home

  25. Revisions can be fun, if you've gotten some great feedback to make your work better!

  26. I started a new manuscript to avoid revisions/a rewrite. But, after a few months, I've gone back and am currently in heavy rewrite mode. Best of luck to you. Definitely try to keep your vision for your story and characters. I'll check back for all the great things you have planned! thanks for commenting on our blog, we appreciate your feeback, christy

  27. Good point! Sorry you're in that place but you have a good perspective on it!

  28. Look at revisions as a way to put right what once went wrong. Oh wait, that was Quantum Leap.

    No matter. It's the same advice. :grin:

  29. Looks like it's about divided between like/hate here, but most agree it's a necessary process. I'm not there yet but will be soon and quite look forward to it.

    Ooh, wait til I post some of my Nice pics on my Paris blog. OOOOOOOOOhhhh...

  30. Revisions are fun. I love them, the characters can tell you so much more about themselves the second (or fifth) time around.
    Take just a little time to see if they will speak to you differently. Most of mine a very patient with me.

  31. rule 2 usually works the best for me -- first drafts are so I see what I have, and the drafts after are shaping it into something coherent, and taking what's in the subconscious and making it a choice, not an accident when something works.

    I think you need to take Rule 3 into account if the person reading has a hidden agenda. The more we write and find Trusted Readers, the better we are at detecting this, but, every once in awhile, we seek an opinion from someone who does not have our best interests at heart, and that's when we have to trust our instincts.

  32. HATE editing. HATE. So, I totally understand. I think editing is the hardest part of writing, and I despise it with an all-consuming disgust. But, I also recognize that it is a necessary evil.

    Hang in there -- you can do it!!

  33. Revision can be such a tricky proposition. I wish I had counsel to add to the wise chorus, but all I can say is, 'My heart goes out to you at this point in your journey!'

  34. The third one is always tempting, but if all the feedback suggests changes, then it's not an option. (And that always sucks...)


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