Thursday, January 13, 2011

Post-It Revisionocity: Step 4

Dut, dut, dut, daaaaaah

All right, so we've gone through the manuscript, making the revisions applicable to each post-it, right? Right.

And you didn't remove the post-its yet correct? Okay.

We interrupt this blog post with a very important service announcement:

By the time you've gone through and revised according to post-its, it will have been several days, if not weeks, that have passed. If it isn't, take a few days, maybe a week off from the manuscript anyway. You want to be able to review your newly revised sections with fresh eyes. Or as fresh as possible depending on what your timeline is. DO NOT rush if you don't need to. Seriously, publishing is NOT going anywhere. Just saying.

No we return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Now, we're going to start back at PAGE 1 (or wherever your first post-it is).

STEP 4: a) Read through the newly revised section and decide if you approve / need to do anything else. If you approve, go to STEP 4: b). If you don't approve, go to the next post-it with this step.

STEP 4: b) Accept changes.

STEP 4: c) REMOVE (woohoo!) the post-it and stick it on the wall / window / your first born - wherev -optional - STEP 4: d) Determine what the best organization process for you to see the changes you've made. Is it by topic? In chronological order? Totally up to you.

And here is really where you Rinse and Repeat. So you go through this step for EACH post-it through the entire manuscript.

When you've done that, then .... TA-DAH!

You're wall may look something like this:
And your manuscript should be ready to send off to crit partners - HURRAH! HUZZAH! and now you can say .... Good Night! Maybe go find yourself something to eat since I know you locked yourself in a room for the last several weeks with only coffee. Personal experience tells me that food tastes really good when you can think about something other than revising. Just saying.

And then you get your crits back and the whole process starts all over. Well, maybe not exactly this same process, but you get the idea.

A couple side notes ...
***I don't generally print out my whole manuscript for every round of revisions. It's only about 2 or 3 times during the course of the entire revision process depending on how major the revisions are.

***I try to take a couple weeks off in between revision sessions - by that I mean a couple weeks off after I've gone through and accepted a whole set of revisions before I'll start in on another round.

***Take a break in the midst of all the revising is not a bad idea. Sometimes even just a few hours away will help clear your head.

***Your crit partners are invaluable every step of the way. Bounce ideas off them, vent to them, cry to them.

Hope this series of posts has been helpful for you to see what my process is. Take what you want from it, leave the rest. And good luck on your post-its!


Stephanie McGee said...

So, I just realized I have used a sort of post-it not revision process. Comments in the word document. I'll leave comments for myself and mark different things in my manuscript with colors or other little things to remind myself of stuff. My computer has a sticky note application that I can use to leave notes for myself on my desktop. I sometimes use those in the revision process (mainly as I'm drafting and things come to mind for me to fix when I hit revisions.)

Thanks for sharing the process because it really made me think about my own process and realize that there is method to my madness! LOL

L.T. Elliot said...

I love what you say about publishing not going anywhere. That's an important thing to remember--especially to me. Getting it right is more important to me than getting it out.

Thank you so much for sharing this process! It's been fascinating!

Dominique said...

I love you use of post-its. I have a similar style, but without the post-its. I might try incorporating them, though, as they sound both useful and a fun way of distracting myself from the pain of revisions. Thanks for sharing. :)

Cheree said...

Great advice. I don't use a post-it system for revision, might have to try at one stage.

Thanks for sharing.

ali said...

This is fabulous. YOU are fab. Thanks Windy!