Monday, January 10, 2011

Post-It Revisionocity: Step 1

Last Thursday I mentioned my revision process. And I was surprised by the number of people who were interested in what that process is.

I don't talk much about the way I do things because, well, it's the way I do things, it's what works for me and not necessarily what will work for you. With that in mind, though, maybe you can find something in all this revisioning talk to help you with the way you do things.

Remember this?

All right, then. Let's talk about how I got there, yeah? Yeah.

Your book's written. Awesome. Feeling accomplished, yes? Me too. Sending it out to the crit partners so they see your genius, right?

And then you get all the feedback from them and you realize ... your genius may be hidden. Beneath lots of "the"s, "that"s, "just"s and the like. Oh, and maybe you can't have the unicorn rescue the princess off the hot air balloon because, well, that might not end so well.

Now we're revising right? So what do you do first? Well, I don't know what you do first, but for me ... it's

STEP 1: a)Print the manuscript

I know, I know, this is a day and age when we are trying to "Save the planet!" and "Conserve the energy!" and "Quit chopping down trees!" I get that. So firstly, I use recycled paper. Secondly, I print everything possible 2-sided. And thirdly, when I'm all done with the pages, I recycle them.

Got your manuscript printed out? Okay, good.


STEP 1: b)Read it.

This is the first read through I do. I usually keep a blue or purple (or some color other than black) nearby to put a * where I think I might need to do some work. I try not to think too much about the WHAT I might need to do. That's for later. This read through is for plot and pacing and anything huge and gaping that I can use my 2yo, and on occasion my 5yo, to plug up.

This always takes me a few days. Up to a week or so depending on what's going on at home / day job / life ... you know. So while I give you guys until ... oh, tomorrow, to read your manuscripts and catch up to where I'm at in the process, who already prints out their manuscript for revisions?

What's your Step 1?


Marquita Hockaday said...

I love all this revision talk today! I'm about to start revising my NaNo manuscript at some point so these tips will def. come in handy. The printing of the pages is the hard part for me. Do you know of any place (like an Office Max or something) that will print the pages for a price???

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I just printed off my first draft to read through (and dissect). After that, most of my drafts will be edited directly on the computer until a much later draft.

My kids use the old mss for their artwork. It's perfect for that.

Pam Harris said...

My step #1 is definitely to print out the manuscript. I don't know, but something about having my 1st draft tangible in my hand helps me think better. :)

Meredith said...

Yep, that's my step 1 too! I'm a much more involved reader when I have a hard, physical copy of the manuscript. My eyes tend to gloss over things on the screen.

Tess said...

me too! I need to hold it and read it on paper. and, love the fresh new look over here :)

Alicia Gregoire said...

My step 1 is print and read the ms too. I try to keep pens far, far, FAR away so I'm not tempted to hack all the way through. If there's something I have no choice about then I'll grab a pen and jot it down.

L.T. Elliot said...

I actually start on the computer before I do my paper run. It has something to do with an ingrained fear of wasting paper (*which is NOT a waste in this case, really--especially because of recycling*) thanks to some elementary school teachers. So I do a first read through on the compy but THEN I print it out. I never tried colored post its (actually haven't tried post-its period) but I love the idea of that because colored anything usually gets my attention.

Can't wait for the next post!

Elena Solodow said...

So far we've got the same exact process.

ali said...

Yay! I'm glad you're doing this :)

My step is also the same as yours. Except I usually can't help but have an idea or two so I try to jot down at least the basic idea of what comes to mind in the margins next to the spot that's lacking.

Can't wait to read more! It's always interesting to see how someone else does it. I learn and grow that way. You might do something in a way I've never considered before that might be THE EXACT WAY that helps me be AWESOME.

Because you ARE a genius!!

Wicked-Sassy said...

I'm with you on this. Printing and reading it on a page changes EVERYTHING. Suddenly words are missing, run-on sentences pop, repeating thoughts and phrases glare, and I realize I SUCK.

Then I get to work on not sucking :)

Sarah Bromley said...

I can't bring myself to print a hard copy of my MS, but I do have a method of going through my MS with highlighted text and comments which seems to work just fine for me. Revisions aren't to be taken lightly, and in your case, it's very evident just how much thought you put into them.