Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Falling out of love...Revisions

Revisions, for me, means falling out of love with my manuscript. The first impressions has already been made, the intense intimacy from the first kiss, the first rose, the first...ahem, other stuff, has happened and is already history.  Now it's time to ask..."what are you going to do for "me", now?"  The "me" referring to plot, tone, MC...the story, period.  

It requires a different mindset.

Annie Lamott suggests taking a printed copy of your work to another room. Donate to an environmental organization if you feel bad about using so much paper, but we are writers, we need to use paper and lots of it. Go through your manuscript as if you were looking at a work from a fellow writer. 

Be kind, but true.

Do not offer hard criticisms to yourself, but be real. 

Suggest changes and find the greatness in your work.

Don't be afraid to let go. 


  1. Oh yes, that's why when I revise I have to step away from the work for a few weeks and do something else. When I come back (if I still like the story after reading it than the plot is good) I rip up the body and slice then dice it into a butterfly.

  2. It's crazy how authors are so different. For me, I fall in love with my MS while I'm revising. The rough draft writing part is just tedious and technical for me. But when I revise, I fall in love with my characters as I watch them tell their story.

  3. I love the "falling out of love" analogy. Revision is when you take off your rose-colored glasses and see that Mr. Perfect has a few faults that need to be addressed if you're going to make a commitment :)

  4. Oh I am like Cheyanne! I love the revision process. Making sense of the first draft is almost more rewarding than writing the thing!

  5. It's nice to know that Writers are all different. ☺ Whatever works.

    Thanks for your comments.

  6. Falling out of love is a good way to think of the revision process. You do need an unbiased eye. Oftentimes, it's my critique partners that find the blind spots I can't seem to recognize. 'Course, while I'm reading, I tend to fall right back in love. :D

  7. I really like how you describe this love affair. I mostly write poetry so I scribble on anything so I don't lose the idea and then revisit dozens of times until it becomes.

  8. Love-hate relationships are always interesting. ☺


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