I was scribbling in my journal the other day, trying to work through why I hate revision so much. And I think I’ve made some headway.
I’ve rambled a bit about my ~process~ before. I’m a pantser and don’t take kindly to outlines. I fly by landmarks. How I get there? I have no idea. I just know I do. I’m a discovery writer. I like finding out how things work and how they fit together. Continue reading Revision→
I’m back in Khazad-dûm. And it’s really not so bad. I outlined the Defiant Canary in my notebook and it’s really quite pleasing. It’s nice to have a path and know where I’m going and what I’m going to do.
The strangest thing about this book, I’ve made each POV switch its own chapter. I have a tendency to head-hop, but with three POV characters, it’s hard to keep it all straight. So, each is labeled with its respective owner.
Having the outline has made a world of difference. I cut out all the weird little half page POV snippets before I ran across them with a blue papermate. I can’t even tell you how demoralizing it is to be on a good clip with the revision and then finding there was all this weird work to do to get it into shape.
I think I have to have a set system for revision. I can’t just hack at it pell-mell as I usually do. I think the first step is to write down the outline and weed out all these weird half-page POV barfs. Do all the major structural stuff. Then use Suzanne Johnson’s excellent monster revision workshop. Like oh my god, take her workshop. It’s incredible. Her plotting workshop is rad af too. I think if I outlined, I wouldn’t have to take this first step of doing this structural step. But outlining is so meh in my brain. I’ve used her plotting ideas and melded them with my pantser ways to keep things organized better. Everything I’ve written since taking that workshopping class is in such better order and will be easier to revise. Anyway.
I’m feeling real good about this. I’ve been sending chapters as I revise them to my beta readers. It’s a fun story and there’s cultists and Cthulhu-esque whales and all manner of nonsense.
I think I have a real good chance of releasing this by June. That’s my plan. And then I think I’ll release Mort the month after. And then… I’m not sure. Probably The Washed Up Astronaut. Anyway. I have a ton of work all lined up. I’m looking forward to it. And I’m getting excited to see where this will take me. The more I write, the better I feel about what I’ve been writing. Anyway. I’m feeling super hopeful and excited and rad.
That old chestnut that habits take 21 days to form? I think I believe it. I started getting up early again on the 28th of November and I have been up by 5:30 every day since then. I’ve been getting in my 2k words before 8 most days.
On top of this, I’ve also been cutting carbs, doing the 4-Hour-Body thing sort of kind of. I’m still eating some candy and flan and stuff, but I’m making better choices left and right.
My favorite new thing I’ve started doing is ten squats every time I refill my drink. I’ll schedule a half pot of decaf every night and drink that while I’m writing (with pastured half-and-half and Vietnamese cinnamon if you’re curious).
It seems to be working. My metrics for body composition (how close my ribs feel to the surface and having to tie my sweatpants to keep them up) are rocking. I can’t weigh myself and have it mean anything because by the time I get around to weighing myself, I am a half pot of coffee into the day and I’ve been drinking ice water. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I can’t really go on anything but these very relative measurements.
It’s working and I’m feeling pretty rad about it. I have a goal of six books released next year. This getting the writing done first thing in the morning is opening up the rest of the day for revision. And I’m loving it. Well, as much as I can love revision.
But it’s happening and I’m sending out each chapter as it’s completed to my friend to read. Which is also helpful because you don’t want to wait too long between each installment. And even if I don’t really feel like it, I’ll still do it because she’s doing me a solid by reading. And I’m (hopefully) doing her a solid by supplying her with free romance novels. XD
I was soundly scolded for having seven finished manuscripts (maybe more actually, I have a hell of a time counting them) that need revising. I know I’ve complainedaboutrevision before and I know I’ll complain about it again, but it’s time to put my shoulder to the wheel, my nose to the grindstone, the pedal to the metal, metaphor, metaphor, metaphor.
I reread my NaNoWriMo story from last year and I absolutely loved it. I don’t think I’ve talked too much about it, but it turned all goofy all quick.
I think I’ve been having trouble with revision because it isn’t as easily quantifiable as writing. Those numbers for writing are a big motivator for me and when I don’t have that, it’s hard for me to feel like I’ve done enough.
That said, I realized I have to do almost a full rewrite of Cop Drama. It just needs so much more than a revision. It needs— at least— two more characters and a subplot. There just isn’t enough and it needs more. Part of me is super bummed out by this. There is no way that it can be finished for an April release. So now I’m trying to decide if I push it back or if I will pull The Reluctant Veterinarianout sooner. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
And I’m pretty sure this isn’t just an evasive maneuver for me. I got my daith pierced for my birthday to help with my migraines and it kind of Office Spaced me. I thought it was just the holidays being over, but I have a massive, raging case of IDGAF. My anxiety is at an all time low and I am just *shrug* whatever. I don’t think it’s that. But, whatever. I’m digging it.
In any case, my plans for Cop Drama have expanded. I think that first chapter is going to remain the same, but there is going to be a huge overhaul. I kind of dread it and I’m kind of really looking forward to it. Feels like the first day of school, actually. In any case, this is an interesting thing to work through. And I’m looking forward to just getting another title out soon.
Kind of glad there aren’t any new writing projects bebopping around in my brain. I’ve been starting this revision work and I’m really enjoying it so far. There is so much here and I think I’ll be able to make some good headway.
I wrote so much of this on an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard and now I’m working on a laptop in Scrivener. There were quite a few little formatting things to fix and adjusting and arranging to do for these manuscripts I wrote last year.
I almost can’t believe how much I managed to do on just an iPad.
Anyway. I’m feeling pretty good and I think I’ll be able to finish this revision and rewrite of Cop Drama by the end of February. Then out to test readers. Then another revision. Then all the fun post-production stuff. I guess I need to call my cover designer and start digging through cover art. I wonder if I can get this out by April? That seems like a worthy goal.
And after this, a revision and rewrite of LuLo2. That needs another 25k words too to be long enough to call a novel. Lordy. I’m guessing September?
Then The Reluctant Veterinarian. That is much more put together. It needs a bit of work, but not nearly as much as Cop Drama or LuLo2. Part of me wants to skip both of these and just go right to TRV, but I want to release LuLo3 and it doesn’t needLuLo2 to make sense or whatever, it makes a much better story with it. TRV, then LuLo3 by the end of the year? It seems like a big goal, but I think I can do it.
And as far as writing goes? Still nothing in the hopper is crying out to be written. But, I’m pretty happy with all my computing cycles going to this crap that needs to be revised. I’ll wait for the little writing urge to come to me. I know it will, it always does. It just needs a new adventure to write. And until then… I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.
Since I’ve decided to write next month’s project long-hand, I am diving in to some hardcore editing this week.
I chose Khazad-dûm as my metaphor for editing because it’s really quite fitting. Three long days of drudgery in the dark, but, it’s also a mithril mine and I’m going to come up with a bag of mithril. I wander through the wastes of my manuscript, Continue reading Back to Khazad-dûm→
Because when's the last time you trembled from delight?