Monday, April 26, 2010

Revising Tips And Miscellaneous

Good Monday! Wow, it's nice to be back among the living. I have written a brief poem to the stomach flu. It goes like this, "To the Flu, sent from those without luck. We hate you. You suck." Okay that was bad. True maybe, but bad.

As you can tell, my entire weekend revolved around taking care of sick people and being sick myself. I have gained a whole new appreciation for cleaning products. Lysol, Windex, Comet with bleach, Scrubbing Bubbles, Tide and laundry softener sheets. Ahhh, I love them with a passion. Since scrubbing my house from top to bottom, I think we're now relatively safe from any flu relapses. Thank you, Johnson Company!

While engaged in my feverish battle against germs, I thought about writing. Revision helps us clean house, so to speak. De-clutter. It gives us the opportunity to throw out the bad and improve the good in our writing. This can be an unpleasant experience, if we allow it, and yet, it can be invigorating, too. If we learn to appreciate this stage of storytelling and find the right tools to assist us along the way. I'm slow at revising, but I am discovering new things about my characters and plot along the way. This process has opened my eyes and given me a fresh perspective. Thank you, delete and save buttons!

What is your favorite method of revising? Do you have any tips for the rest of us?

P.S. This is the miscellaneous section of the post. Have you heard of Webook? If you want to test the metal of your first page, you should give it a try or at least check it out. Use your Google powers on this, blogging buddies.

I want to have a blogfest sometime soon. (After my blogger tutorials, of course. I need to learn how to apply Mr. Linky . . .) I was thinking of highlighting dialogue. Maybe a "Damn. That Was Good Dialogue!" Blogfest. What do you think? Would you prefer something else? Voice your opinion, people!


  1. Dialogue is fun! I've also through it would be cool to do a one-line hook blogfest. :-)

  2. Awww sorry to hear about the flu. Yuck!

    My favorite method for revising is to read the previous day's work and comb through it before I start anew. It helps me get in the midset of the story and clean up after myself from yesterday!

  3. ugh no thanks on the sickness. I had food poisoning last week. Never again, if i can help it.

    i really like to line edit. so when i get to that stage of editing, i'm all excited

  4. Illness does not lend itself well to revision, cloudy mind and all...When the sky does clear, I love going back to work I completed the day before. It's amazing how so much perspective is gained with a little time.

  5. Hi

    Awww you poor thing!! Stomach flu - get thee hence away from Roxy and Roxy's gorgeous family - bad, bad flu bug!!

    I hope you are all on the road to recovery - remember lots of liquids and plenty of rest and soup!

    I don't know what a Mr Linky is - I've come across it once or twice hidden in the depths of someone's blog - but no IDEA why or what it is or what it does!

    LOL! I'll go and ask Mr Craig...!!

    As for revision.. gosh. It's a painful experience - editing stuff and being ruthless - but you have to be I suppose!! If it doesn't work, cut, cut and cut again! No fillers - cut, cut, cut.

    That sounded so painful...!!

    Dialogue as a blogfest sounds like fun though!

    Take care

  6. Revision has been constantly on my mind for the past two and a half months, since I've been doing a major revision that ended up turning into a rewrite--but having finished the rewrite, now I feel a little better about regular revisions. They can be invigorating, you're so right.

    Also, Clorox wipes are like the best cleaning product ever for someone afraid of dirt like me. Also, did you know they make this pet friendly lemon scented spray that kills bugs on contact? Best invention ever! And... I like your ode to the flu. It reminds me of the sonnet I once wrote to my shower.

  7. I love cleaning my house. I really do. But I hate revising my work. Writing comes to me in waves, like mental vomit (sorry, considering your flu experience this weekend!) so when I'm having to revise, I am resentful and bitter because the "moment" has passed, inspiration is gone and writing becomes a chore.

    The first time I had a bad cold, my then boyfriend/now husband followed me around with a can of Lysol and it was SO not like my maternal, coddling mother who took care of me without a mention of germs. I got used to it and married my sweet germophobe who still, to this day, is our Lysol Superman when we are sick.

  8. Damn, that's a good idea to have a dialogue blogfest. I'd participate!

    I'm sorry you had a stomach bug. The unfair part is the weight loss lasts for half-a-second. Why is that? I hope DC didn't catch the nasty bug.

    I like the comparison of revisions to cleaning out clutter. That's exactly what it is. I'm the last person to ask how to do it well, so I'll just sit back and read the other commenters' advice.

  9. Glad you're feeling better! I like to get it all out and then go over it with my writers' group. They always catch things I miss!

    Nice post! Welcome back.

  10. So many people have been down with the stomach bug! My own niece was down with it this last week.

    I'm glad you're feeling better!


  11. I'm happy to read your comments again. When I'm sick, I cannot even look at a computer screen. I feel worse somehow.

    Portia- I'll need to practice up on my one-line hook! It definitely needs some work. :)

    Falen-Food poisoning sounds horrible. I'm so sorry for you. Uggh.

    Aubrie and Paul C. - I look over my previous day's work also. I think it is the best way to check recent corrections and gain motivation for the work ahead. It's great to know you do this, too.

    Old Kitty - Thank you for the kind thoughts. Too bad Dan was away. He could have brought me the soup!

    Alexandra - I love Clorox wipes! They give me the illusion of security in the fight against germs. I did a big rewrite last year, and that can be quite a process. I certainly glad I did it, though.

    Michaele - I enjoy cleaning my house if I have helpers working with me. I actually like to revise, too. It's a pressure release for me. I can also identify with your husband's love of Lysol during times of sickness.

    Theresa - I'm glad you like the blogfest idea. I think it would be really fun and interesting to read people's WIP dialogue. I seriously doubt that there was any weight loss during my illness. Even temporary thinness would be appreciated! Fortunately, Daniel Craig never gets sick. It's one of the benefits of being a muse.

    B. Miller - Good writer's groups are invaluable in my estimation. They help in so many ways.

    Jai - Sorry your niece was ill. Hope you stay clear of the sickness bugs!

  12. I hope you get to feeling better. The stomach flu really sucks!! I must go check out this webook thing immediately!!

  13. Oh no! I hope you and your family feel better soon. The flu does suck!

  14. Ooh sickness, yuck. Hope you feeling better.
    As to revision I'm back in the trenches and snippity snipping ;( Gonna check out webook though, thanks for the tip.

  15. My condolences on your recent need to revive a relationship with Clorox, but isn't modern chemistry a lifesaver??

    I don't even begin revising until I get my CPs' take on things. That tells me how "off" I am.

    And then I go for big pix fixes, down to little fixes. Mechanics, spelling, that stuff, it waits. Why fix something that may wind up being deleted?

  16. I'm SO glad you're feeling better. Nothing is worse than the stomach flu.

    I love Portia's idea, that would be so fun!

  17. Wow! Hate to hear about the bug passing through your house. It's been all around me too, but so far, knock on wood, it's passed me by. There now since I've said it, have I jinxed myself?

    Glad you're on the other side,

  18. Sorry to hear about the flu bug infecting your household. Hopefully everyone is feeling better.

    I don't have much feedback on the revision front - been too bogged down with work to do much these past couple of weeks. :(

  19. I'm so thankful for hot water, soap, and cleaning products. Modern society is awesome!

    Kimberly and Lindsey - Let me know what you think of webook. :)

    Talli, Cynthia, Crystal, and Debi - I'm sending positive thoughts your way for a healthy Spring. Wash your hands and stay clear of sick people.

  20. Thanks, Shannon. We are doing much better. I hope your workload eases up and allows you some free time. :)

  21. I actually love revision. Is that weird? It's my favorite part of the writing process. I see all those pages and realize that I've just written them all. It's kind of sobering. I just spent a bazillion hours to word vomit all the stuff swirling around my head. Very cool.

    Sorry about being sick. Stomach flu DOES suck. I don't want you're talking about that being a bad poem. Pssh. lol

  22. Sorry about the flu! That does suck. The poem is perfect.
    I've been revising chapter by chapter, not skipping around, and I'm lucky to have a beta who is reading my new chapters one by one.

  23. I'm sorry to hear that you were sick! I hope you feel better.

    I like the idea of a dialogue blog fest, but I think Roni at Fiction Groupie is already holding one:

  24. I hope you're all feeling better! The flu stinks and deserves all the bad poetry thrown at it! Take care :)

  25. Totally awesome idea for a blogfest! I LOVE dialogue!!!

    Hopefully the weekend sickness (and taking care of others) didn't wipe you out too bad. And, I liked your poem. ;-)


  26. I hate editing and revising of any kind but it is necessary so I do it. *sigh*

  27. My editing is pretty haphazard at the moment. Of course, I've never had a full-length manuscript to edit/revise either. There are all kinds of things I know as I'm writing I need to go back and work on, but there's no rhyme or reason to it.

    I have saved / starred all kinds of blogs and articles about revising. Once I finish my manuscript, I'll be pouring over those with more purpose.

    lad you and your family are feeling better.

  28. I love the idea of a "dialogue" blogfest, but also a "first-line" blogfest.
    Hope you're feeling better :-)

  29. Sorry to hear about the sickies! Bluck. Although, the mundane chore of cleaning tends to stimulate the mind. I don't know how that works!

    I have no words of wisdom on revising. However, I found that writing stories to a specified word count is a very good exercise.

    A dialogue blogfest would be great for me considering I'm writing a stage play!

    Here's to healthier days!

  30. I like to go through a scene and focus on things like the scene's emotional arc. Then I pick something else to analyze, like if there's enough conflict. If not, or if it's low conflict, then it means I might have to work at adding more, increasing the level of conflict, or deepening the emotions some more through various means. Once I'm bored with the scene, I move on. On my next draft I'll find some more things to pick on. ;)