Dec 7, 2015

Revision, Revision, Revision


Ahh, revision. So hard to get started, but so rewarding when you're done. 

I finally finished the short story I've been writing for the last few months and, in so doing,  ran out excuses to avoid revising the two stories that have been lying in the virtual drawer since August. So, after some grumbling and whining, I buckled down and got to work. 

Over the last year I've developed a system: at first I just go through the comments, correcting small stuff like typos or missing commas as I go. For the major stuff I'll write a note at the end of the story or into the text in ALL CAPS so I can find it. The real work starts when I have the manuscript at this stage. I'll read through the concerns, then try to address them one by one. Even though I'm focusing on a particular issue or scene, I find that if I have the comments in mind I'll sometimes fix a few more at the same time, or at least come up with a solution. 

Then I'll do a few read-throughs, keeping in mind the stuff I changed and trying to spot any rough edges or bumpy transitions. I'll also do one where I try to feel the flow of the text and change any poor or cliché word choices, work on the description, etc.

For me, getting started is the hard part; when I get going, the process is actually fun and rewarding. To combat this, I try to get started in the morning so I can do as much as possible when I'm in the zone, but the edits usually take me a few days, anyway. 

After I finish, I'll leave the story alone for a few weeks, but I'll do a final read-though before I send it on, unless a deadline prevents my doing this. 

 For the current piece, I'll need to do all of this again, because the revised version is going for another round in the Critters queue. The other story has been through Critters twice, so maybe I'll actually submit it somewhere. 

Oh, and I got a rather nice personal rejection for a piece I sent to a Lovecraft anthology. I'm not too bummed, because I got through the first cut and they complimented my voice (about the best compliment a writer can get), so I'm counting this as a positive. 

Another one for the to-be-revised pile... 


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