The Revision Struggles Begin…

Hello, hello!  It finally happened.  On Saturday, I wrote THE END on the shitty first draft of novel attempt number three!  Yay!!!  I celebrated by doing nothing productive whatsoever on Sunday.  Monday, I slowly dipped my toe into the revision pool by revising a micro fiction piece before sending it and another piece out into slush land.  Which brings us to today (because I’m writing this on Tuesday).  Now, the real revision struggle begins.  Sure, I have a short story that needs to be doubled in length and smoothed out.  That’s my immediate focus.  But then, I have to decide which novel attempt to revise, two or three.  And that’s what I plan on rambling about today.

Make Good Choices
I try.

Option 1: revise novel attempt two (LR from here on out).  In my head, I know this would be the smart choice.  For one thing, it would give me a break from the one I just finished, which is always encouraged so that when it comes time to trim the fat away, you won’t be blindly attached to it.  I’ve had more than enough time away from LR to be able to make the hard cuts.  I’m still super excited about LR, so that’s a plus.  And I really do miss being around those characters.

The downside of revising LR first: while I love it, I’m not really sure it has much potential in the way of attracting agents.  Are dragons even “in” anymore?  Or are they passé?  I know I shouldn’t worry about stuff like that, and I should work on whatever my heart tells me to, but it’s something I think about.  I’ll have to do some research on the trends right now/where the trends seem to be headed.  Plus, I’m concerned that if I get caught up in LR’s world, I’ll lose steam in the other one.

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Don’t worry, Toothless.  You’ll always be cool.

Option 2: revise novel attempt three (DS from here on out).  Some of the advantages include that the plot is fresh in my mind and I still remember what all my little revision notes mean.  From that perspective, it makes sense to dive right back into DS.  It’s also a genre that’s always in high demand, but with a supernatural twist.  So, I feel like it has a better chance of catching an agent’s eye.  Plus, I’m completely in love with these characters and their stories.

The problem with starting with DS is that I wouldn’t have much time away from it, so I would probably still be super attached to all the fluff that needs to be chopped out.  I have trouble decluttering my room because of sentimental values, decluttering a story isn’t any easier.  It would also mean more time away from LR, which has been randomly popping into my head the last couple of months.  Plus, I’m not entirely sure if the supernatural elements will be attractive in this particular genre or if it’ll be confusing and off-putting.

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I’m being indecisive and procrastinating all at once.

I guess I’ll read through both of them and see which one pulls me toward it more.  Until then, I have a short story to focus on.  What about you?  How do you decide which projects to revise and when?  What’s your method of making these kinds of choices?  As always, please feel free to leave your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Looking Forward: 2018 Goals

Howdy, howdy!  A couple of months ago, a friend asked me if I would be interested in creating some writing goals for the new year and sharing them with each other for accountability purposes.  I agreed, because accountability is the best way to motivate me.  So, since we’re (not so) slowly making our way through December, I thought I would go ahead and share them with everyone.  As I’ve probably said before, I don’t care for the idea of making resolutions, because they’re usually vague things (eating healthier, exercising more, going out more, spending less, etc.) that people keep up with for a few days or even weeks then forget.  Goals, on the other hand, tend to be more specific, thus easier to keep track of and definitively complete.  So, here are my writerly goals for 2018.

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Pretty much.

1. Finish the first draft of DS1 (code name for my novel-in-progress).  I probably should’ve finished this by the end of December, but I hit a road block and decided to work on my fetish fairy tales for a little while.  I’ll finish the fairy tale I’m working on this week, then get back into DS1.  I should finish that by the end of January/middle of February.

2. Revise LR1 (code name for the shitty first draft of the last novel I wrote).  I’m actually really interested in getting back to this one.  No idea if it’s still as awesome as it felt while I was writing it (first drafts never are), but I’m looking forward to tearing it apart and making it better.  Hopefully revisions won’t take me more than two months, but we’ll see.  I’m not the best at revising things.

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It’s not wrong.  Though, I’m still using .doc instead of .docx.

3. Revise DS1.  Despite getting a little stuck on this one, I still absolutely love the idea and the characters.  I hope I feel the same way after I finish it.  My biggest problem is that I know the ending, I just don’t know how to elegantly connect it to what I have thus far.  I guess I’ll smash it all together and smooth things out during the revision process!

4. Query 100 agents for LR1 or DS1 depending on which is better.  I’ve decided to put G&G away for a while and focus on the other two novels.  Hopefully one of them will have more appeal for agents.  I can always go back to G&G later, but after 100 rejections, Bailey definitely deserves a nice little break.

5. Write 10 short stories/flash pieces OR 1 new novel.  I really want to use 2018 as the year of revision.  But at the same time, I also want to keep producing new work.  I’m leaning more towards the short stories/flash fiction option because I could take a couple of days off of revision each month to work on something fresh, but like I mentioned above, I don’t really know how long revision will take me.  If it doesn’t take too long, I wouldn’t mind working on another novel.

6. Submit short stories/flash pieces (2+ subs a week).  I admit that I’ve been neglecting my short story submissions this year.  I want to change that in 2018.  Maybe I’ll eventually snag someone’s attention!

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Maybe.  I doubt it.  Reassurance, please!

And those are my writing goals for 2018.  Do you have any goals for next year yet?  Feel free to share them here or on my social media pages!

Achievement Unlocked!

Hello, hello!  So, as of Saturday (09/12), I finished a round of major revisions on Garnets and Guardians.  Huzzah!  What did I do to celebrate, you ask?  Well, I got a flu shot; a round of antibiotics for something completely unrelated, but blah inducing; and decided to take a few days off before working on another novel while this one is away with a trusty reader.  Yeah, I’m not an exciting person.

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I had to for the flu shot.

Since this is one of my days off, this post is going to be short, so I can get back to laziness.  I just wanted to share my achievements with anyone who might be interested (a girl’s got to brag some times).  I posted once before about how rewards are necessary, and wanted to let you know that I’m following my own advice.  My lazy days have been filled with:

1. Music.  I’ve been kind of obsessed with James Blunt recently (don’t ask), but also getting back into stalking some J-rock bands.

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Bonus points if you know who this man is!

2. Crossword puzzles.  You can blame Dad for that.  I usually do Mondays-Wednesdays of the syndicated NYTs puzzle, and I attempt Thursdays, but I’m behind on those.

3. Watching Charmed reruns on Netflix and catching up on Sailor Moon Crystal (no, I still haven’t finished).  P.S. I’m pretty sure all of your current favorite sci-fi/fantasy actors had bit parts in Charmed.  So many familiar faces. 

Misha Collins to Pheobe: “You must be an angel.” (Or something close to that.) 

Me: “No, you are.”

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Anyway, I’m going back to vegging.  Next week, I will return with something more interesting to ramble about!  Until then.

More Revision? Ugh…

Hey all!  I know I would usually do a food review today, but I haven’t really been anywhere.  I could gush about Dad’s cooking for a while if you wanted, but I don’t know if you want me to, so I won’t.  I do plan on going somewhere this week, so hopefully I’ll have something delicious for you next Wednesday.  Anyway, what shall we talk about today?  How about another discussion about revision?  Namely, my revision process (which is being quite evil this go around).

So, I don’t recall if I’ve shared this, but I’ve recently started revising G&G (see a description here).  My problem is that I’ve never really revised anything on this large of a scale.  I only ever wrote short stories before.  Needless to say, my usual approach to revision failed me miserably.  Normally, I do a read-through then another read-through/dive right into revising.  I did my read-through (of course I hated it again), then I hit a wall.

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Kind of like that.

I tried to work my way through it, but when I hit the third day of staring at the screen with my eye twitching, I decided something had to give.  I went and I added an extra step (a read-through with notes), which I finished Monday.  It actually went pretty well.  I feel much better about going in and skinning my baby alive then fattening her up and making her all pretty again.

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Maybe?

Part of me wonders if maybe I was simply suffering from some random bout of angst or something.  I normally don’t have any major attachment to my writing (don’t judge me), but maybe after nursing this thing for two or more years, I was feeling a little clingy.  However, when you write yourself a note that says “Is it necessary or was it simply to meet word count?,” it becomes a lot easier to take a knife to that section.  Ah well.  At least I feel much more confident about getting into the big changes now.

I guess what I’m trying to say is be open to tweaking your routine.  A lot of people call me OCD because I like to do things certain ways, but at the same time, if something isn’t working, I’m willing to change it.  Writers need to be flexible when it comes to these things.  After all, we all know the definition of insanity.

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If you say so…

Anyway, enough about me!  Let’s hear about you.  What’s your revision process?  Do you just jump right in?  Maybe you make notecards or charts or something.  Do you print your manuscript and lay it out everywhere?  What kind of revision magic do you work?

Until next week!

Revision: Why So Serious?

Welcome, new and old visitors!  I noticed that I have a few strangers stalking me, so first things first… It’s nice to meet you!  Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to check out my ramblings.

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On to today’s topic of choice, revising (also known as majorly editing your own work).  I know a lot of people who seriously despise the whole revision process.  I used to be one of them.  It was tedious and boring and the words we write should be perfect the first time around, right?  Wrong!  Once I actually started editing my work for more than spelling and grammar (in case you haven’t noticed, I use revising and editing interchangeably since I do both at the same time.  See the chart below for the difference), I realized that it was really only tedious and boring in spots because the story itself was bogged down or too light in those spots.  In other words, the original writing wasn’t perfect, thus revisions were needed.  It’s a vicious cycle, I know.

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Over the last couple of years, I’ve actually learned to enjoy revising my work.  Not just because I know everything will be better for it, but because it can be fun.  The key is to not take it so serious.  Sometimes, it will take multiple revisions to mold a story or poem or whatever into something you deem presentable.  That’s okay!  So, here are the top three reasons I like revising.

1.  The story is most likely done, so there’s no pressure to find an ending!  You’ve got one.  Now, it’s about polishing the words on the page to make everything make sense.  You already know where the story’s going, you just have to fill in the plotholes and give the reader a smooth ride.

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2.  Nothing is set in stone!  You can make all the changes you want.  If you don’t like a change you made, change it back.  See a major flaw?  Guess what!  Revision is your chance to fix it.  Don’t like that adjective?  Find a new one.  Think a character needs to be removed?  Do it.  This is your chance to fix all the things, big and small.

3.  Lastly, you have a chance to look objectively at your work.  I know that sounds like utter BS to most writers, because we’re so invested in our characters’ lives during the writing process that they become special to us.  However, it’s important to get some distance, then honestly evaluate your own writing.  It not only makes for a better story, but if we recognize our weaknesses, it makes handling criticism a whole lot easier.  You don’t want to be like this cat.

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As much as I have come to like the revision process, I want to conclude with a word of caution.  I know I said not to take the process too seriously, but you also can’t take the end result too serious.  We all strive for perfection (which is great and all), but don’t let it stop you from getting your work out there.  I’m sorry to say that there will always be someone who doesn’t like your writing.  No matter how much you change, it’s not going to please everyone.  As long as you like it, it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Imperfection is a wonderful thing!  It makes it real.