Last week, I announced a list of readers who have won fabulous custom-made Will Write For Chocolate bookmarks to reward them for their bravery in posting their New Year's Resolutions. I've received snailmail addresses from Rachel, Stacie, Deborah, Stephanie, Kerry, Susan, and Katharine. If you were on last week's list and haven't contacted me to let me know where to send your bookmark, please do email me!
Last week, I asked you all how YOU revise. Here are some of the replies...
"I usually revise as I write.
I mean, I write, and then the next day, before I start from where I left, I tend to revise what I wrote the day before. I guess it helps me get in the mood of what I’m writing. Or maybe I’m just a bit obsessed.
Either way, after I finish the novel I still revise it at least a couple times. Then I send it to a friend or two (the special beta reading friends ;)) and based on what they say, I revise it again.
I love revising. It’s so nice to see it all done and written, and then go on fixing and deleting. Uh! I love deleting stuff. :)"
I get a first draft down as soon as possible, with minimal revising along the way. If a chapter or scene just isn’t working I’ll revise it until it hits its groove. Otherwise, revisions are for the second draft. They’re never extensive. Does that mean I’m lazy, or just good at first drafts? ;)
From Jo Ann:
"I don’t write in order… Depending on the idea and mood, I come and go from the first to the last to the middle without regrets. When I manage to put everyting together,I start revising and rererewriting. Can’t do it otherwise."
From Katharine Swan:
"When I write nonfiction, I tend to revise as I write, then proofread it once or twice and make small corrections. When I write fiction, I do some revisions while I write, but usually go back through later on for the major revisions. At least I think that’s how I do it - I’m not very good about going back through it, so I have a lot of first drafts hanging around here still………."
"I revise later. It’s hard enough trying to keep the internal critic at bay while I’m writing, why complicate matters by letting it roam free as I write and revise then? But I also have a pretty in-depth way I like to revise works. It includes lists. ;)"
"I often drag my feet when it comes time to seriously revise. Like so many others, I am my own worst critic when it comes to my writing. It makes it challenging for me to get past the point of saying, “Oh my gosh, this is terrible. I’ll never write again,” to a color-coded series of passes for various fixes.
Then, more often than not, I’ll shelve the whole project again for another two to twenty-four months and start hating it again. (I had no idea writing was such an angsty process for myself.)"
"I write totally out of order. I write whatever scene, chapter, vignette, etc, is in my head at a given time. And I’m one of those weirdos who writes longhand, to boot.
After I write everything down for today, it goes in the “to be typed pile” for tomorrow. Then, I take the completed chapter printouts (and only after the chapters are “completed”) and put them in page protectors in a 3″ binder. This becomes my “working copy” where I can scribble notes, ask myself questions, write more information/scenes/dialogue etc in the margins or on the backs of the sheets.
The revised, completed copy I make from that “mess” becomes the “readers draft” which goes out to my first readers. ;-)"
"I used to print everything and edit longhand. I liked to make little notes and corrections and such with pencil.
I’ve found just in the last few months that using the laptop is much easier for me. I never liked writing on the laptop b/c of the keyboard but since I practiced (by writing), I’m better at it and it’s a better editing tool.
I like to finish, then go back. Once I know where it’s going, I might have changes to make earlier in the piece. When I pick up again, I do like to reread a few pages back and I’ll make minor corrections (on typos, etc.) but if I get caught up in major rewriting, I don’t move forward.
I love creating the original rough draft but I’m also a fan of the editorial process. There’s always a certain amount of letdown when you finish w/ the story. It’s rewarding to revisit the characters, no matter how."
From Tina Chaulk:
"I get whatever I can onto a page (with pen and paper) and then procrastinate revising until everything is done (and my house is clean, the dog is groomed, the roof is patched, the tiles in the bathroom are grouted, the lawn is mowed/driveway is shoveled, the cans are stacked alphabetically in the cupboard, etc)."