Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Never-Ending Story (I.E revisions)

Revisions!  Yes, I’m excited about today’s topic.  Or this week’s topic really.  Anyway, I’m one of those strange authors who actually LIKES revisions.  To me, it’s where all the magic happens. 

No matter how much I enjoy writing the story and what surprises me while I’m writing the story, the best parts always come when I’m revising and I get to go, “Oh! So THAT’s why that happened in chapter 1 scene 5, or whatever.

Then again, it’s also the longest part of the entire process. It’s almost never done.  Even now, when I’m at the stage of, if I ever have to see this manuscript again, I’m going to puke!  Of course, that won’t be true and of course I’ll have to see it again. And again. And again.  J

Anyway, now that I’ve bored y’all to death, I’ll tell you a wee bit about my revision process.  First I try to crank out my manuscript as fast as possible—when I’m in “the zone.” Otherwise, I’ll start second guessing myself and I’ll get writer’s block.

But this first draft is really, really rough and very bare bones.  So I go back in immediately after I’m finished and add in the detail work. The world building, back story, character descriptions, etc.  (I’m learned this little trick from Nora Roberts—not personally of course.  She also taught me that if my story is lacking a little in size, that I should go and kill of a character.  Surprisingly, this works PERFECTLY! Mwahahaha!)

Then I send it off to my trusted CPs (I have 3), who know I’m sending them something that’s basically fresh off the presses of my mind (i.e. Sucks with a capital S) and they go in looking for the big picture stuff and there’s always little stuff they catch along the way, too.

BTW, these girls are RUTHLESS!  LOL.  They will not let me get away with anything.  J

Anyway, after they’re finished, that’s when I go into my revision cave with rock music blasting through the speakers (DH bought a surround sound system just for that reason—so he says…) copious amounts of caffeine (usually iced coffee with caramel—nummy, nummy, nummy), and a comfy place to sit.

And then I tear the shiz out of that MS.  By the time I’m done, I’ve usually cut out at least 10,000 words and added in another 20,000. So yes, my “finished” MSs are WAY bigger than the original drafts.

And hopefully, when I’m finished, I’ll have an MS that is reasonably good enough to show my agent.  (BTW, she JUST got married!  Go see her gorgeous wedding pics here and wish her congratulations, would ya?  :P)

J.A. Souders is the author of RENEGADE a YA dystopian that takes place in an underwater utopian society, coming Fall 2012 from Tor Teen.  For more information visit her blog or website.

She is greatly saddened to announce she is no longer a Fischie as her agent went and got herself married.  She is now know as a Lackie.  This, of course, causes a disturbance in the Force, as she will now have to order all new buttons with Lackie printed on them.

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