Monday, January 10, 2011

Revisions -- Oh what fun.

As I've mentioned a few times both here and on Twitter, I'm doing some major revisions on the WIP right now.



Look at all the notes!

Frightening, huh?  (And look at the cool new flags I found at B&N!  *is in love*)

Since I mentioned on Friday my method for revising, I thought I'd expand on it today.  We've all got our own methods and processes.  Some of them work swimmingly, and some of them make us shudder.  I've done a LOT of revising over the last year and a half -- I mean, a LOT lot.

Finding what works for me hasn't been easy.  In fact, I thought revising on paper was ridiculous until I realized what I wanted (and needed) to change  in this WIP was going to take more than just a line or two here and there.  I needed to be able to *see* the whole picture at one time in front of me.  Not only a page at a time in a word doc.  /enter paper MS, stage left/

I've talked about the usefulness of printing your MS for editing (in a different font), but as you can tell from the pic above -- this is far more than editing going on.  I've got a whole color system at work.

Green pen -- revision notes.
Pink pen -- notes on things to carry forward, either in this book or the sequel.
Yellow flags -- where I left off last.
Green flags -- things to carry forward in this book.
Red flags -- things for the sequel.

*shrugs*  Is it overly simplistic?  Is it way too much to keep up with?  Who cares, it works for me.  (And that's the important part.)

Plus, then it is two steps to get everything incorporated.  Which, at first I thought, "That sucks.  Why would I do an extra step?"  But wait!  The second step is yet another refining point.  I revise (on paper) one or two chapters at the time and then go back to incorporate everything in the word doc.  This way all of my revisions are getting a second look...a revision step of their own.

When I go back and read the things I've revised this way I can tell the difference.

What do you do?  Do you have methods like this when you're doing hard core revisions?

12 comments:

Susan said...

Very similar to my own method, Holly! Interesting -- I think a lot of writers converge on this... :)

I wait to do type-ins until the end, though... Mostly because I might make a massive change, and if I type all the early stuff in only to have it need MORE changes... :-/ You get the idea. :)

Yay, I can't wait to read it when you're finished -- no rush or anything. ;)

And yay for cute post-it thingies!!

Marquita Hockaday said...

Wow...okay, I feel like a total revision slacker now :( Yes, I do like to print the pages out and look at it then mark it with a color pen. I wish I had the patience for a whole color coded system--I do grade my student's papers with a color code, though.:)

And I think it is awesome that you are so dedicated with your revisions. That means you are a going to end up with a solid manuscript! I'm so proud of your revision efforts. It motivates me to work harder :)

BTW- LOVE those Post-It flags. I got mine from Borders :D

KO said...

Looks colorful and ORGANIZED! I dig it.

I have been working through mucho revisions lately. When I get feedback, I go through comment by comment to address small issues.

Then I go through the whole doc chapter by chapter to deal with the "big picture" items. Are 2ndary characters not fleshed out, are some subplots not effective, etc.

Right now I have written some small scenes that achieve some goals for me and I am trying to weave them into the bigger story.

when I feel like I have a draft that's close to what I want I will print it.

Then I will read the whole thing aloud to see if there are sentences or subplots that I snag on.

And then... I don't know!!! I guess I'll figure it out when I get there.

Erinn said...

Wow! You're so organized.

I normally read through comments from my betas and then I pick and choose which comments I agree with--- most of the time it's around 80- 95% I've got AWESOME beta's.

I rewrite or tweek what I need to. I cut a lot and add a lot.

After many many many drafts I think I have 10 pages that are the same from the first draft.

IT normally takes me about a month to do all the revision. I leave it alone for a while, read, write something else, start a whole new project, then I reread it and send it off to another beta and the cycle starts all over again

Holly Dodson said...

Susan, I can't wait for you to read it. I think you're going to really like all the changes. :)

Quita, thanks! :) I hope I do wind up with a solid MS...that's the goal. :) And I'm glad I could help with the motivation too.

Kat, after big revisions I'd have another set of eyes read it over again. (Which, you can send it back to me if you want.)

Holly Dodson said...

Erinn, organization is my thing. I dig it. lol It goes hand in hand with my crazy list making.

Pam Harris said...

Lol, I agree with Quita--my revision style seems completely inadequate compared to yours. What I'll usually do is print my first draft, make notes on it with a colored pen, write down things I need to make sure to include in a separate journals--and then make the changes. After that, I pass the draft on to a beta and repeat the process. However, I'm sure my revisions skills will improve greatly once I receive my pack from you. :)

Holly Dodson said...

LOL Pam, you'll have all the supplies to be an organized reviser like me! :P

Meredith said...

I am a HUGE fan of color coding as well. It's so much easier to keep things organized. I should buy stock in colored tabs because those are my bread and butter of revising.

I definitely agree that it takes a lot of time to develop a system that works for you. Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of tweaking along the way!

Sarah said...

Hmmmm... I am way less organized. I use only one color of pen and eight million sticky notes. Sticky notes are my little square saviors.

Alicia Gregoire said...

OMG so simple. Soooo simple. I love it.

Krista said...

I second sticky notes. But then a lot of my random writing thoughts are also on sticky notes...as well as most serious things I start writing. Is that weird?