RTW: A Hazy Shade of Winter

From YA Highway:

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question to write about on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's topic:  For many, December is a post-NaNoWriMo revision haze! How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?


“Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life 

I love to revise.  I love to take a draft and hack at it or flesh it out or do whatever I need to do to make it better.  Winter is approaching (boo) and it's a great time to hunker down and work hard.

I don't normally prepare for big revisions.  There's no routine or set schedule or step-by-step process.  My revision techniques are mainly intuitive.  This draft of BEAUTIFUL BIRD (which I cannot get out of my head or my heart) is so choppy, so awful, so unfit for human consumption that I'll spend a first-go-round making it presentable.  This could take days or it could take months.  At some point I'll let my trusted CPs take a peek and send me their initial thoughts. 

The only thing I plan to do is to compile a brand-spanking new revision playlist, which to date includes:
  • Til Kingdom Come - Coldplay
  • The Ghost in Your Mind - Black Lab
  • Everything - Stereo Fuse (which is a cover of a Material Issue song I adored when I was in high school and college and now I adore this one, too)
  • Until You - Dave Barnes
  • 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
  • Everything Changes - Matthew Sweet
  • Come Around - Rhett Miller
OH YES, I'm also going to read a couple of craft books, including BIRD BY  BIRD: SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON WRITING AND LIFE by Anne Lamott (fave writing book!) and one that's on its way: SECOND SIGHT: AN EDITOR'S TALKS ON WRITING, REVISING, AND PUBLISHING BOOKS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS by Cheryl Klein (thanks for the rec, Ghenet!).

There will be lots of coffee involved, probably a few write-ins with other MNYA writers, and lots of quality time in the writing cave.

Here's a little sample from the playlist:


 Got any great tips for revising you'd like to share?  What's your process?  Do you lurrrve revising or despise it?

Comments

  1. I just finished revising a novel I wrote at the beginning of last month. I love revising, too. :)

    Good luck!

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    1. You are fast! :) I think you either love revising or you hate it. I'm glad I love it - because I spend SO MUCH TIME doing it!

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  2. Love this post, Sara. I also wrote about how my revision techniques are not everyone's way of doing things. ;) I also wanted to say I love Bird BY Bird - great book on advice; I totally agree.

    http://rachelwritesthings.blogspot.com/2012/12/road-trip-wednesday-revision-advice.html

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    1. I'm really excited to read BIRD BY BIRD again. It's been... um, maybe a decade since I read it last. ergh.

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  3. I love revising. I tend to write thin first drafts so the revision process is where my characters and their world really start to come to life for me.

    I don't have a standard process, but I tend to work through big stuff first and then print a draft to catch all the little stuff.

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    1. My process is similar - fixing the big stuff first and then, yes, printing a draft. I also like to read it out loud to catch the times I repeat the same word twelve times in one paragraph and such. :)

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  4. Reading crafting books really helps! I read somewhere online recently that a writer said she read 1 crafting book on writing for every 3 fiction novels. Wow! If I read that much on how to write, I'd be a pro! :) Then again, I do read blogs and articles just about daily that have writing and editing tips. I think that accounts for something. There are some great books out there with all kinds of niches to writing, which is really helpful.

    I've never tried the print draft method before--of the whole thing. It seems really obvious since I know I catch mistakes when I print off a chapter for a critique group.

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    1. 1 to 3?! Wow, I don't know if I could read that many books on craft. Conflicting messages, maybe? Of course, I usually just take what's useful to me and leave the rest, but still.

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  5. I have a hunch I am going to enjoy (and be totally frustrated by) revising. I just have to finish this darned draft first...but finish it I shall. And then: to the craft books!

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    1. Revising is a whole new ball game, that's a fact. But it feels REALLY awesome when you're done! Good luck finishing and yes - to the craft books!

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  6. Congrats on completing NaNo. Sounds like you have some great books to help you on your way. I really liked Second Sight. Made me think so much about how I look at my writing.

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    1. Thanks Carrie! I'm very excited to read SECOND SIGHT. We'll have to compare notes. :)

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  7. "My revision techniques are mainly intuitive." sounds good! And so does that second book rec...I haven't heard of that one.

    Congrats on NaNo!

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    1. Thank you! I realized how vague and daydreamy I made revising sound by saying that, but you know what? It is vague and daydreamy. :)

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  8. Awesome playlist :) I have some revision go-to songs that just always help. They must be magic for me. Or they make me calm when I'm freeaaaking out over all the changes. :)

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    1. Thank you! There are more where those came from. Sometimes Pandora is just spot on with the songs I need to hear.

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  9. Music is sooo important to me too :) Good luck! :D

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    1. It's amazing the inspiration you can find in a song and a melody, isn't it?

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  10. I love BIRD BY BIRD, and I think you'll really like SECOND SIGHT. I'm going to post about it soon. I found it really helpful and enlightening!

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  11. Great minds think alike! We have been listening to a lot of the same music. It has me curious about what your working on compared to mine. Good Luck

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    1. That is quite interesting! I'll pop by your blog. :)

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