Thursday, May 15, 2014

We wants it, precious!

You guys, I want a Nook Glowlight. For reals.

Generally I'm a you-can-pry-my-paper-books-from-my-cold-dead-hands kind of a person, but it's just so cute and has rubbery edges and the screen lights up so you can read it at night and it holds 2,000 books and has e-ink and a ridiculously long battery life and I JUST WANT ONE, OKAY???

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Revision Process

So I've been thinking lately about my revision process—probably because my writing projects for the last year and a half have consisted of revising two different novels, but what can you do?

I'm a fast first-drafter and a long reviser. I adore first drafts. Apart from the initial onslaught of brainstorming new ideas (which is always awesome), first-drafting is my favorite part of the writing process. First-drafting is generally pretty easy for me. Revising is HARD. That said, there's an amazing sense of accomplishment when you make it through a really tough revision. It feels good to be able to turn your novel into what you meant it to be in the first place, no matter how agonizing and arduous the process.

I'm a Big-Picture-First reviser. I revise first for PLOT. Despite my detailed outlining, my plot always needs help when the dust settles from my not-as-shiny-as-I-thought first draft. My second draft usually involves Very Drastic Changes. This is where I'll flesh out characters, delete minor characters that aren't doing anything, work on my pacing, rearrange scenes, delete whole chapters and replace them with completely new ones. There's a lot of metaphorical blood and guts on the floor when I'm working on my second drafts.

I've mentioned this before, but I usually re-key the entire book when I'm rewriting. This helps me get into the flow of the story when I write new scenes, as well as forcing me to rethink everything as I go. It takes a while, but it works for me!

When I've finally finished retyping the book and making all the changes, I'll print it out and go through line-by-line and fiddle with the prose. That part's easy and fun.

Depending on the novel and feedback, I might do another revision after that, usually not nearly as extensive as Draft #2.

So really, I end up not going through a ton of drafts, because my initial revision is so extensive. Which is maybe why it takes so long, and definitely why it's so incredibly painful.

Currently I'm back revising THE WHALE AND THE TREE. This is my third major draft (technically Draft #4, but I really don't remember what Draft #3 even was; probably just a light revision?), and the revision is extensive. I've changed a lot as a person and a writer since I first wrote and revised it (in 2006 and 2007/08, respectively), and this new version will (hopefully!) reflect that. There will DEFINITELY be another draft after this one, and I envision it involving a ton of hacking. I'm sort of feeling my way through this draft and there will be a lot of things to sort out when I'm done. I'm hoping to finish in the next few months, but we'll see!!

So anyway. That's some rambling thoughts on my revision process.

I'll leave you with some pictures we took in Glendora, CA this weekend of THIS AWESOME AND ENORMOUS TREE:

Isn't it amazingly BIG???
I'm standing between ROOTS, people!