I wish I could say that I were revising like a madwoman, but the truth is, I'm only doing a little bit. Writing new scenes in my notebook, making some minor changes for clarity, but mostly getting to inhabit my characters again. I see three or four big things I need to change, and although I would've tackled the big things first because they involve some structural changes, I find that too daunting to do right now. It's easier to focus on the smaller things. I still have a household to finish organizing (because we have too much stuff) and what's really dumb is that I actually want something -- like a swing-bed for the back porch! Talk about being extravagant, but like my manuscript, it's a big thing and I'm not even going to think about tackling it. I'm doing the small things -- tidying up a corner, reorganizing the kitchen so that everything I need is within reach, etc.
When I was at Ruth Schiffman's blog
, I came across a very helpful article
on revising. Having seen La Buffadora in Mexico myself, I connected with the analogy immediately. The idea is that you let your analytical mind take turns with your emotional side so that when you are revising, you are again in that zone of wanting to tell the story. The author, James Scott Bell (author of Plot and Structure and many other books), says far more than that, but this is what I realize is missing in the way I'm attempting to do my revisions. Too clinical. No heart. Just a faint pulse. Onwards.
Today, help arrived in the way of Second Sight
by Cheryl Klein. I already want to sit down and scribble down some things in my notebook in response to some of the questions she poses. I have enjoyed the books she has edited immensely and have read her blog
on a regular basis, so I am thrilled to have this book, to have her talks all in one place, to help untangle some of the spaghetti mess in my head. What's funny is that even though I've never met her, it's like curling up with a good friend to talk about books we love.
Here's my cat sitting on the hard copy of my WIP, chirping at a bird that makes its home on the oak right outside my window. As you can see, my feline writing partner plants herself exactly where my attention is, and meows at the appropriate times.
Do you have favorite revision tools? Do share.