March 27, 2012

THE LAST REVISION

Now that I've had some time and space from the frenzies of the Big Sur Writing Workshop, I'm more and more happy that I went. I brushed elbows with people I'd previously thought of as ninja robots. I learned that people think I'm a pretty good writer. I learned that not only can I take constructive criticism, I have the ability to revise successfully based on that criticism. The comments I got that weekend informed both the revision of the chapter I brought to the workshop and the way I'm thinking about revision in the rest of my book. Which leads me to my next announcement:

Last night I started the last revision on my WIP. (Side note: am I the only one who wants to intone those words in the same styling as the dodos chanting "the last melon"?) It is freaking the life out of me to say that, but it's true. When I'm done with this revision, I'll be querying agents.

So far it's a delicate balance between perfectionism and obsessiveness. I'm not sure I've reached it yet, but there must be a point at which changing one word for another simply will not make a difference as far as obtaining representation goes. Last night it took me two hours to cover minor edits in a chapter of 2,095 words. Too much?

Given that I'm confident in the final product, I'd say that two hours was just enough. But I can imagine a hellish world in which I'm huddled greasy-haired and sleep-deprived over the glow of the computer screen, muttering crazily to myself for days about the relative merits of "shouted" versus "cried." (Is it terrible that it took me ten minutes to come up with a decently innocuous word comparison to use here? Maybe it's worse that I can still come up with ample justification for why "shouted" is nothing like "cried," and that making the right choice means (to me) the difference between effusive praise and dismissive sneers.)

In any case, I'm moving at moderate speed ahead. Much as I would like to be done in a week, that is crazy-talk. I'm setting myself a goal of at least one scene a day. Some scenes require significantly more work than others. Some scenes haven't even been written yet. The best advice I can give to myself is to just keep going. I'll get there. Eventually.

March 26 - Day 1. Word count: 2,095.

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