Sunday, November 11, 2012

Revision fever

My posts have been a little scarcer lately because I've been in the throes of a big revision. It was the main thing on my mind (well, besides Hurricane Sandy, the election, and a few major things going on in friends' lives), and yet I didn't want to blog about it. I usually like to blog about writing ideas after I've had time to mull them over. Not only does writing about my work-in-progress carry the risk of draining some of the energy I need to pour into it, but the daily progress of a revision is not ripe for blogging (not in my case, anyway). It resembles the journey of a roller coaster operated by a bunch of lunatic cats. Documenting the ride would look something like this:

"I have no idea what I'm going to do in this scene. Oh! I know! Character A will fight with Character B! Wait, no they won't. They just fought 10 pages earlier. But I'm getting rid of Character C, that's for sure. No, what I'll do with C is give her an even bigger role. In fact, she can carry D's role too, and I'm axing D. No, I'm keeping D, and making him twins. Also, chapter 3 is going, but I'm bringing back the old version of chapter 9. Yes! No! I don't know! A will fight with B. And I'm getting rid of C. And D isn't twins--that's stupid. I know! I will combine the two fights that A and B have into one fight scene. They don't need to fight twice. And D will take on C's role, but will not become twins. There. I've fixed it. Unless ..."

None of that refers to the actual plot of my actual book, but you get the idea.

The most useful observation I've had from my recent revision was this: Whenever possible, use what's already there. Find another purpose for an already-established hobby or quirk; give more responsibility to an already-existing character. Develop a grudge or a crush. It's so much easier to water the seeds that we've already planted than to drag a whole new rosebush into the garden.


  1. I agree. I prefer to work with what I have and create solutions within that framework. Best wishes with the revision. Can't wait to read the next Jennifer R. Hubbard. ^_^