Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Here's a look into my revision process (for this book anyway. It may differ with each book. I don't know. It's been a while since the last revision). To recap from earlier posts, my process is this:
1. Write a book. I do this by handwriting into a series of notebooks. Click here to see my tools. I always write straight through. Never look back! I do not outline, although I often keep a list of characters and a calendar-esque list to help me remember what has happened where and when something else should happen.
2. Type all that stuff up. The suckiest part of the process. I also revise as I type it into my computer.
3. Print the manuscript, read it, revise it on paper, type up the new changes.
4. Send it to my editor.
5. Wait.
6. Lose my shit.
7. Get back manuscript from editor. Hopefully find my shit.
This is where the Get Well Soon sequel is already different from my first three novels. This time around, my editor didn't send me a marked-up copy of my manuscript. Normally, it comes back with all sorts of scribblies. This time, all she sent was a two page letter with thoughts on what to add, move, or change. She said she only had a few mark-ups in my manuscript that we can tackle in the next round of edits. Because I'm that awesome. Or something.
8. Print up last version of manuscript and read through, all the while changing little things, adding things, moving things, and straightening things out. Let's take a looksee:

A perfect page, with nothing changed:

A simple page, with only a tiny edit:

A page that requires me to turn it over, so I can type in the new words I wrote on the back:

A page requiring so much new/changed stuff that I have to go to my handy dandy notebook to write it:
Yes, I spelled separate wrong. That's what happens when I'm writing really quickly. And other times. Sometimes I write notes telling me where to move stuff. This is when my brain feels like it might explode. What if I can't figure out my notes later? What if I misplace my pages or forget to include something?

My floor after I start typing in my changes. It's very satisfying to throw the pages when I complete the edit:
I may have mentioned that my editor wants a new ending to my book. It's not that she didn't like the ending, but the character said something big was coming up after the end of the book and Liz, my editor, said I MUST include that scene. Because of that, I not only have to write that specific scene but everything chronologically leading up to it. I am figuring about fifty more pages. This morning, I actually managed to write the first new scene, plus a list of all of the scenes I will need to get to the end. I feel a little more sturdy about the whole thing. But I still have to do it. In a relatively short amount of time. Pressure's on.


Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing pics of your in-progress changes. It's fun to see these sorts of things. Someday I hope to be in that spot with a novel :)

Keep it up - I'm sure it will be great after you've added the new chapters. I always feel I get better work when I'm in a time crunch - like my brain is working more efficiently or something. Or maybe that's just my excuse to procrastinate! :)

Julie H said...

I am very quickly realizing that I am NOT a procrastinator, and having to work close to a deadline is annoying me to no end. I just want to finish!