Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Sometimes rewriting feels likes this...

Doesn't it?

Remember that feeling when you finish the first draft?


So much excitement as you type those two words.

It feels like this...

or maybe even like this...

But then the excitement wears off as you sit down to read what you just wrote. All those "I can tie this up later" moments that never happened. Now they have become "Ah ha!" moments. Or even "Oops" ones.

The work seems vast.

You roll up your sleeves and dive in. Again and again and again. By the fifth or sixth rewrite, you start to feel like that kitten on the turtle.

Doesn't this thing go any faster?

I think the more we rewrite, the more we refine our process and the quicker that little turtle moves. Or we realize we don't need the little turtle anymore.

As I dive back into Dark Forest again, I've been reading to get tips from others. To help refine my own process. Liz over at 8-Bit Words shared an AWESOME (sorry, no other poetic writery word for it) link and I want to be sure everyone sees it. I think it's very clever!

Revising by Color - and I'm not talking post-its like I usually do. This shows you how to do it on your computer with your MS. Amazing.

Nothing is ever a quick fix. This certainly won't be QUICK. But I think it can be thorough. I'm excited to try it!

What about you - any great revision tips? Are you riding that turtle?


  1. I totally feel like a kitten on a turtle. Except less fuzzy.

    Thanks for the shout-out and for spreading the word on Cristin's revising method. I definitely agree it's a neat approach and hopefully it is helpful to others!

  2. This is so funny because that is exactly how it feels. I almost done my first round of revisions/re-writes and the kitten on a turtle is pretty much how it's going.
    I will check out the revision method you mentioned. Thanks.

  3. For me revisions are easy, although not enjoyable. After I reach “The End” I leave the book alone for like a week and then start rewriting it. It usually takes me about a week. I revise it about three times, and then I put my book through a text-to-speech program and have that read the book for me. I still find plenty of mistakes that way, so I fix them, and then I send it out.

    There’s a very good post about edits and revisions on the Carina Press blog. It talks about mms that have been revised to death. I found it very informative. It’s called “Losing your soul” or something similar.

    PS: LOVE the kitten and turtle video. Soooo adorable!

  4. Haha, that's totally what rewriting feels like to me! But it's fun to find new methods and figure out what works. I'm going to try post-its this time (I do my revising by hand, because I just can't "see" it on the computer for some reason). Good luck! I'm sending good revising vibes your way :)

  5. Rewrites often feel like swimming against the tide. Wearing yourself out, expending all your effort and getting no-where fast.

    Will have to look into this method you mention.

  6. Oh, my, that is exactly how I feel about the end of the book and the rewrites. A year and a half ago, a friend of mine and I finished our first draft. We're still rewriting. The book has new characters now, a second sub plot and has been shortened significantly (I don't think we're going to sell a 75,000 word middle grade book). Ugh! I am going to check out the tips you posted. Thanks!

  7. Ah, yes. Revision Hell, I know thee well. I am the world's slowest reviser on the planet. I fester and agonize over ever large and tiny detail, rip large chunks out with my teeth.Then I sob a little. And rewrite that dreaded chapter for the 14,735th time.
    Drafting is so much more fun.

    I'm off to check the color-linkage out. :)

    Merry holidays!

  8. I ride the turtle writing the first draft. (Okay, that just sounds wrong!) Revisions are easier for me. I guess because once I have the first draft, I see enough of the big picture that it helps me with the details.

  9. I usually focus on different aspects each time thru: first round structure and plot, 2nd round voice, 3rd round picking out adverbs/adjectives, etc. Also I edit random chapters so i can focus on each one individually.
    Nice to meet you. THanks for commenting on my blog. Happy holidays!

  10. I'm not a big fan of revision, but I find it easier if the first draft is LESS polished. It sounds strange, but it's easier to throw out unnecessary scenes that way ;)

  11. I'm in the revision stage right now and it is slow but I am enjoying it - just like that kitty on the turtle!

  12. I am definitely the kitten on the turtle, only not as cute.

  13. I enjoy revisions, but I am S L O W reviser. It just takes me forever, because I analyze everything to death. It also doesn't help that I'm plagued with self-doubt the entire time! Something I'm working on, by the way :)