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.
My goodness. I was working through this revision of a Defiant Canary chapter and I just realized I’d flipped PoV midway through. I don’t even know how it happened, but I think it’s the sign that it’s time to take a break.
So, with that, it’s time to put the revision away for right now. Well, after I finish fixing this. 😂 Cuz let’s face it, if you realize it’s time to take a break, and you don’t, terrible decisions like Maria Reynolds show up and then it’s all a terrible pamphlet publishing war and your career is ruined.
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 hate to wake you up… but I need a ride to the airport.
My best friend is having her baby in Okinawa. I’m packing up my Entropy Machine to fly across the ocean and take care of her and her family.
Of course, since I’m an idiot, I’ve also signed up for a plotting workshop and a flash fiction contest. I’m also going to be working through two manuscripts on the plane. I don’t sleep well on planes and I don’t know if my vigilance could be low enough for me to sleep with my kid on a plane, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It’ll be fun to see Japan through my kid’s eyes. She’ll be four next month, so she’s going to be old enough to remember this through that weird early childhood lens. I hope she has a rad time. I’m pretty low-key when it comes to adventure. I’ll deal with whatever comes. Hungry? Cold? No toothbrush for a week? Forget to pack a bra? Whatevs. It’s an adventure and it’ll make a rad memory. But my kid? Goddamn, I’d about die if my kid was cold and hungry.
Anyway. I’m busting my ass getting ready, churning through words trying to get everything ready to blow this taco stand. Make sure to follow along on Instagram. I’ll be posting there pretty regularly (depending on my wifi, of course. Like hell I have int’l data roaming adventures 😂)
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 joined the Romance Writers of America group. Not gonna lie, I joined and felt like hot shit. Well, the fact of the matter is, I should have joined forever ago. I signed up for two workshops right now. “What to do when a horse shows up” and a revision workshop.
I’m pretty city and my exposure to horses is quite limited. In Mort, her horse plays a big role. I’m glad to finally be learning real things about horses and how to do what needs doing for him. I read a lot of Robin McKinley as a kid and learned a lot about horses from there, but I’m curious to actually learn by being taught as opposed to reading horse stories, you know?
And, as far as the revision workshop goes… omg. I am going to have buckets of work from it. BUT I think Cop Drama is going to be such a better story for it. I think that is going to be the more active work and the horse workshop is mostly going to be my brain having adventures learning new shit.
AND on top of all this, I’m still working on my other manuscript. I like to have a project I’m working on, you know? That I’m writing. And I’m enjoying it. I’m coming to one of those bottlenecks where I need to really meet and learn about a character and what she does before I can move on. She’s a secondary character, but still important to the story. I don’t quite know what she does and that’s important. So… gotta figure that out. The hills are starting to dry out, so I should be able to go hiking soon. Hiking is about my favorite way to puzzle through things.
Anway. I’m feeling totally busy. That first week of classes get your syllabus and figure out your schedule and buy a new notebook this semester is going to be awesome! feeling. Nice to feel that way, even if I’m a 35-year-old toddler wrangler who kind of really doesn’t care about a lot of stuff. 😀 Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling like I can turn Cop Drama into a decent work of fiction. Thinking about doing a second edition of LuLo in a couple years when I’ve figured this writing stuff out better. But that’s not for some time. The stack of manuscripts I have here are all crying out for attention. God forbid I bring LuLo back.
Ok. I’ve got some writing to do tonight.
Because when's the last time you trembled from delight?