Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Words of Wisdom

It seems a lot of us lately are feeling the revision blues. It’s totally understandable. Most of us feel all of that red/purple/pink/orange/green ink spilled all over our hard-crafted words like a kick to the head or the gut.

There’s been some talk about who makes the best CPs, friends or non-friends, and how critique should be presented so that it is helpful and not hurtful. But no matter who gives it or how it’s coated, no matter how much we know it’s coming and that our words will be better for it, the expected blow does not hurt less.

But for all that we know it’s a part of our journey, our success at revision lies in how we handle that outside assessment of our work. How we process the suggestions given us. C.J. Redwine over at The Last Word had an awesome post about The Art of Revision. Check it out and tell me what you think.

How do you handle revisions?


  1. We will see I am just starting:) So far I am scared and excited. Weird feelings. I will check out that post.

  2. I'm with Christine on this one, I'm still working on my first draft but have to revise part of the story before I can continue. Scared and excited are the perfect words to describe it... guess we'll have to see!

  3. Revisions are hard work, but I know my manuscripts get better each time I go over them with that red pen (and let my crit partners go over them, too!) I used to hate revising, but now it's my favorite part of the process.

  4. I'm revising for the umpteempth time - or, rather, should be, but as you can see I'm procrastinating in Blogland.

    I think non-friends make the best critters, they can be more honest. I'm one of those people who prefers absolute honesty. It's difficult to clearly see ones own work after the zillionth read-through, so without that honesty from others, how will the work get better?

  5. Just went over there! Thanks for the link to that post! It was definitely helpful! I'm also revising and trying to do my rough draft of another WIP. :)

  6. Oh, the dreaded revisions. For me, it's different every time. I try to set aside the MS for at least two weeks to give myself some space from it. Then I read it through, fresh, and make notes on things that stick out. Then I plunge in!

    I usually do three or four passes - sometimes more - each pass focusing on specific things like character, consistency, grammar,etc.

  7. Am I the only one who loves this part of the process lol? It's writing the first, and the second draft, that are like a visit to the dentist for me.

  8. I agree with everything you said, I sulk for a while when I get a critique back, listing in my head all of my seen and imagined flaws. But then I go back and write. My desire to finish is too strong to keep me away. I thought I was following you before, but I guess not. But I am now! Great post.

  9. I go into revisions with a red pen and an extra dollar for the many hours of Pandora I'm going to use up. :)

  10. haha that IS funny we wrote on the same topic today. It's sooo silly of me, but I am always much more able to take criticism when I hear several positive remarks first. But I need to get over this. Not everyone will say something positive and only the critical remarks can improve my story and me as a writer.

  11. I'm better now than I was. I never wanted to cut any of my precious words at first! But now I see how it gets better and I understand that it's a process I have to go through. My CP's are very nice to me and I couldn't take anyone being any harder.

  12. I went over to the link and left a comment that I thought it was good advice.

    Lately, I've been diving into a minefield of critique. I've had an exchange partner and joined a critique group since January, I've had two pieces posted on Miss Snark's First Victim's blog, and I'm about to have a third on her blog.

    Maybe I'm a masochist, but I'm hoping that it's improving my writing.

  13. Great link, thank you! I love the revision process, I love honing my words. That's where the art of writing comes in. My only real problem with revising is knowing when to stop.

  14. Hi, Christine. You’re welcome. And good luck with starting the whole process.

    Hi, Jen. Good luck and I hope it goes well for you.

    Hi, Susan. You’re lucky and I’m envious. That’s a great attitude to have.

    Hi, Tara. I get the whole procrastinating in Blogland thing. :) And you’re right, honesty is necessary if the whole process is going to work.

    Hi, Tiffany. Thanks. I’m glad you found it helpful.

    Hi, Talli. That sounds like a very dedicated, disciplined, well-thought out plan. I think I may try it. :)

    Hi, Karen. Congrats and mad props to you for liking this part of the process. :)

    Hi, Crystal. Thank you and welcome. :)

    Hi, Elana. Yay!for red pens!

    Hi, M. Great minds, indeed. :) And you have a great attitude.

    Hi, Aubrie. I’m glad it’s working for you and that your CPs are so nice. That does mean a lot.

    Hi, Theresa. Thank you and welcome. Mad props to you for being willing to be Miss Snark’s victim. That’s a good thing. :)

  15. I like revising! What I always hate is having to confine my works to certain word counts. Boooooo!