Monday, February 21, 2011

Share with me

Hello revisions.

I’m in that awkward stage where I’m trying to read my MS as though I didn’t write it. Just to see what a reader might feel.

I got to about chapter 11 and said, “Whoa, what on earth were you doing here?” Not my best work for sure.

So I drew a big sad face and marked the spot. For later. When I go back through and fix and fix until I can actually say I’m proud of it.

It’s a process—coming up with a piece of work that will hold up to the test when I send it to my critique partners, beta readers and maybe an editor BEFORE I query it.

It’s a process that can’t be rushed.

I’m trying to think of everything I’ve learned and put it all together even if it takes forever.

I know—sounds like a song. But in a way, my book should sing when it’s done.

It should sing like a Hallelujah choir.

So that’s where I’m at in this fifth novel process.

Where are you with your writing today?


59 comments:

Jessica Nelson said...

I just got a beta crit from a cop writer back for my romance with suspense elements so I'll be working on that, trying to make things more factual in the story.

Joanne Sher said...

Depends on which "writing" you're talking about. On my NF, I'm waiting to hear back from an agent. On my fiction, I'm working on the first draft still. On my newest project, I'm in the research phase. How's that? ;)

BECKY said...

Hi Terri! I love your reference to singing like the Hallelujah choir! That's me! I'm doing things probably all "wrong" as far as writing goes, but...I kind of always have. I'm working on finishing my memoir. I'm editing earlier chapters, still writing new chapters, am in the process of choosing my cover and still not completely sure of my title! How's that sound?! Hopefully that makes you feel a little less stressted! :)

Diane said...

I just did a print out to bring to my writers crit group tonight. We'll see what my small verdict has to say... :O)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I love the thought of a book singing!

I'm bracing myself for starting number six next week while editing number five. Things could get a little crazy around here!
~ Wendy

Tamika: said...

The edit process is teaching me to slow things down. Every sentence, scene, chapter need to be written with precision and purpose.

I've added another POV to my MS and so I'm adding about 14 additional chapters.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Terri,
Love the book singing! I am finished with the last revisions of manuscript seven and then on to revising number eight. It's a slow process, but satisfying.

Karen Lange said...

I am at the end of a few projects and the beginning of several others. Always have something going. Cheering you on as you go!
Blessings,
Karen :)

Jennie Allen said...

Today I am writing a few talks I am giving. Usually my favorite task but these have proven tough.

Blessings- may you have fresh eyes!

Lin Floyd said...

got a nice rejection letter, waiting for one more then I'm self publishing...

Linda O'Connell said...

I am doing a chapter synopsis on my novel an a rainy school holiday.

Rachel said...

My friend just looked over my book proposal for me. She e-mailed me this morning that she thinks it's ready to submit. Scary! Exciting! But mostly scary!

Lynn said...

'...sing like a Hallelujah choir.' I love it! Every ensemble fitting together, to create a beautiful song to the ears. I know you're getting there with your novel! I've submited one short in January, and editing another but haven't worked on it for awhile. I need to say no to another project to get it done, and I'm still figuring out how to! Or even if that's the right thing to do.

Ann Best said...

I'm about to outline some ideas and see which one I want to work on while waiting for ARC reviews on my soon to be published memoir.

I hope you have a productive week on YOUR writing!!
Ann Best, Author @ Long Journey Home

Lisa Jordan said...

I'm in the middle of my next-to-last revisions. After I'm done with this pass, I'll go back one more time and do the final revision before it gets submitted to my agent for submission to my editor. I'm praying she wants it because it's the sequel to my first novel.

Jan Cline said...

Just trying to get some revisions done on a book that has stalled many times. Busy with conference preparations and not much time to write, but even 15 minutes a day is better than nothing!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Editing a first chapter, then critting a friend's. I love the process of refining. Enjoy yours! :)

Cheryl Klarich said...

Sound like you are making tremendous progress! Keep going, and have fun with it!!! :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm getting ready to write an article about the woman I interviewed yesterday. Then I need to work on my novel some more!

Keli Gwyn said...

Terri, I wish you well on your revisions. I spent a year in Revision Land before I submitted my story to contests and received my offer of representation from a final round judge. I spent most of another revising the manuscript under my agent's guidance before she sold it. The best advice about revisions I've heard from many sources is what you shared in your post: "It’s a process that can’t be rushed."

Katie Ganshert said...

I'm in a battle, is where I'm at. My WIP isn't cooperating. The story feels too big. So I'm hunkering down to battle it out. Hopefully I come out victorious!

Nancy said...

I think it's great that you got to chapter 11 before you had to pull back and mark it. Is that half way? I'm sure you can get the rest just as good.

I'm having fun trying to spend more time on my blog.

Tana Adams said...

Yes, make it sing, girl!!!! My new WIP need much whipping (sp?) when it's through. It must sing. there is not alternative.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Slugging it out weekly, trying to keep that column fresh and entertaining and of value to the readers. Continuing to offer as much of Jesus as I can on the pages of my blog. Adding in the newest blog venture (the college one) in an effort to cultivate a brand-new set of readers.

It's not like writing fiction, but I love it because I get to exercise my passion - encouragement!

I like your chorus analogy. You go!

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's so funny! I sometimes draw little sad faces too! LOL
I really need to start my edits I just got back from my editor but I am here procrastinating instead. *sigh*

Jill said...

Endless revision . . . Am developing the romantic relationship in my book--not easy for me to do romance.

KarenG said...

I am procrastinating.

Dawn Simon said...

You're so smart to make it your very best before you query!

I have a blog award for you at my blog. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Oh, you have those moments too? I'm upset when I can't understand what I wrote.

At the moment, I'm in first draft mode on book #4.

Blessings,
Susan :)

writergal24 said...

I'm in the middle of revisions of Book #2 and I'm about halfway done writing Book # ... oh, who knows what number it is? They both have their challenges, but I'm enjoying both of them. Right now.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

It's been a while for me... hopefully after I get back!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Terri, I am at that gut-it-out-keep-the-faith stage of first drafting.

First drafting is hardest for me, especially at the beginning.

Lynda Young said...

I'm in the difficult revisions stage as well.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am currently in the same stage as you : the revisions. Hope both of us can make our manuscripts shine and shine some more.

Julie Gillies said...

Oh Terri, I cannot imagine! The mere thought of writing a novel makes my head spin. But I commend you for your diligence and perseverance. You will produce a masterpiece, I'm sure.

Today I'm working on my (nonfiction) book, as my agent found another person willing to consider endorsement. So, I have to finish several more chapters, and then polish, polish, polish!

Julie Musil said...

Terri, you and I are in the same place! I'm going through it AGAIN, hoping I won't miss something, but darn it, I usually do. Good luck with your revisions.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

My writing today?

Simmering in my thoughts. I hope to get it to paper one day soon.

Keep to it.

peace~elaine

Stacy Henrie said...

Trying to be more consistent in working on my WiP (my fourth novel). I think I like the revising more than the first draft stage - something about those blank, unwritten pages scares me.

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I enjoy the revision process. That's where the real writing begins for me. Before that I'm just throwing words on paper trying to get the story out. And yes, you should take your time and make sure you've done your best work.

The best of luck!

Sassy Granny ... said...

I can't help but think, with such discipline & resolve as yours, a magnificent creation is underway.

You go girl! (and best wishes on the new job)

Kathleen

Kara said...

I love how you said our book should sing!
I'm finishing up my NF articles before the move and doing more studying of the craft then writing during these crazy times:)

Carol J. Garvin said...

Making it sing. Good analogy, Terri. I relate well as a choir director... you need all the parts to balance just right. :)

I just concluded a year of final revisions on one story, am working on the revisions of another and have yet another in the first draft stage. It's really crazy, and not my usual way of working. I like focusing on one thing at a time, but that's just not the way things unfolded this time. It reminds me of when I was running my business -- different projects all at overlapping different stages.

I like revising but a year was a long time. It was more like a re-write so I was glad when it was finally done. Hope your process keeps moving along well.

Carol Riggs said...

Wow, good for you, for being able to read through your ms as though you were a detached reader. ;o) Sounds likes you're shaping that ms up quite nicely! I just finished my WiP last week, thank the Lord! and I am going on a reading binge while it sits and simmers.

Margo Berendsen said...

Sounds like i'm at the same place as you, but with my third novel! First draft I loved it! It was flawless! I had "arrived"! Now I'm re-reading it parts make me say "oh dear!"

I loved your reference to singing! :)

Paul Greci said...

I'm revising, alternating between numbers four and five, and hopefully will be starting number six soon.

Loree Huebner said...

I'm revising. I want to make my mss sing. Right now, Chapter 15 is sounding a bit like the American Idol - Chicago tryouts. Some pages are good, real good infact. Some, well, let's just say, they are not getting that golden ticket to Hollywood. Nice post!

Jill Kemerer said...

I like that--the Hallelujah choir! I'm amazed at how much I pick up in my own books when revising. I used to not be able to see the problems, but the more I practice, the more I see.

I'm finishing up revisions on my WIP. Good times.

Deb Shucka said...

It sounds like you're in the perfect place - to be able to recognize those places that don't really represent your story or your writing well.

I'm doing a first revision on my memoir, trying to allow the shape of the story to emerge, and to know I won't be fixing everything in one revision. :-)

jdcoughlin said...

I did put mine aside. I didn't think I was capable of it, but it has helped me. My characters haven't left me, their motivations are still running rampant in my head, but I am allowed more room to see my story.
Wishing you more smiley faces

Lydia K said...

I'm waiting for all my beta feedback to come in so I can dig my teeth into revisions. The waiting is so hard!

Patti said...

I'm doing the same thing and I've highlighted areas that need a little more work. Good luck with your revisions.

Gina Conroy said...

I'm letting my stories rest so when I do pick it up again to edit I can say "Whoa, what were you thinking?" and change it. Distance brings good and bad writing to light!! Because when I'm in the moment I think everything is grand! It's not! I recently reread an opening I reworked and was totally bored. I thought I was making it better, but when I went back to the original, that's when I heard it sing... Only distance made me hear the music again!

Laura Pauling said...

Well, it's a snow day so I didn't make it too far. But I got in some rewrites early this morning! Revising is hard. Writing is hard. Crafting the perfect sentence is hard. But it wouldn't be near as much fun if it wasn't!

Sally said...

Hey Terri, it's been a long week full of emotional fatigue. There's a blog in there somewhere but believe it will be better written after some distance. Good does take time.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am so proud of your persistant spirit, Terri. You remind me of the Energizer Bunny, Winston Churchill, and Jesus. Yes, Jesus.

Where am I? Trying to figure out if I want to take the best elements of two books and merge them into one. And praying HOW I might do that.

Building my platform by speaking more, and seeking to edit more work.

Thanks for asking!

sarah said...

I'm stumped..hit a block...don't know where to go....someone suggested taking Long Ridge's online course but it seems like an expensive way to push past the block. It feels like I've run out of words... :(

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

Isn't it amazing what a little time and space away from a project can do? I've had so many times when I thought I'd written rock-star prose, only to go back and realize it was terrible. Yikes. It's hard, but that perspective is much-needed to get the writing to where it needs to be.

Good luck with the process!

WritingNut said...

I'm with you.. smack dab in the middle of revisions!

I know what you mean.. there are times I go back and think... did I really write this?

The Happy Whisk said...

Great post. Hang in there and keep going.