Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ouch! That Hurt.


scout girlRevising can be fun. I love molding my manuscript into something all sparkly and shiny (those first drafts can be pretty scary looking!). My plot grows stronger and my characters’ motivations deepen. It’s all great except for the painful part.


Today I gave my outline a serious relook (by the way, I’ve become a big fan on outlining) and I realized I didn’t need two of my chapters. Oh I hard I worked on those babies! I revised, tweaked, and even sprinkled on some pixie dust for good measure. They were good. I could even venture to say great.

Scissors please.

Yep. I sliced and diced them. Painful but I know my plot will be stronger. And the reader will be pulled through the story because I’ve sharpened it.
So don’t be afraid of those scissors and delete button (or whatever form of punishment you prefer). They are necessary tools for the trade. And, you might actually find it invigorating.

Liberating? Well, maybe that’s going a little too far. My manny’s wounds are still fresh.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Captain Hook 04.01.09 at 6:58 am

I wish all I had to do when revising was cut! But my rough drafts are always more like an extended (30-40k) outline. No details whatsoever (because I hate them). So, my revising process fills those in and it is not fun.

Andrea 04.01.09 at 10:33 am

Christy, this is so true! I’m working on revising my latest manuscript now and it’s so hard to cut sections that I know I’ve sweated over.

I always tell myself that I still have the earlier version saved on my hard drive in case I don’t like what I’ve changed, and I’m just trying out the cuts to see if they work. That seems to take away some of the sting of those scissors.

Martha Flynn 04.01.09 at 10:24 pm

I love the picture of you!

Christy 04.02.09 at 4:18 am

Captain Hook- We all have our way to get that manuscript written. That’s the beauty of it. :)

Andrea- I do that too! I tell myself, I have another draft so try and just cut it. I can’t ever remember a time I went and got it back. So that tells you something!

Christy 04.02.09 at 4:19 am

Oh Martha, that’s not me, just a halarious picture I found on photoshop. But it’s great isn’t it!

Meg Wiviott 04.02.09 at 5:24 am

When I revise I find that I’m cutting and adding at the same time – cutting the repetitive, the info dumps, the unnecessary and adding detail, nuances, and depth.
But “killing my darlings” is difficult. And it usually isn’t done in the first revision. I have to warm up to the idea.

Deb 04.02.09 at 6:33 am

I too have to warm up to killing the dar’s. It’s a long warm-up, too. I go through a stage where I think I can’t. I think there is NO POSSIBLE way I can slice and dice the book. Fortunately that passes and once I’m at that stage I’m lovin’ the revisions. Just did it with 30 pages of a YA and had a blast.

Congratulations on your new blog!

Kate Fall 04.02.09 at 6:49 am

I wish my writing style wasn’t so outline proof. I have a tendency to outline and then throw the outline away as I write the story and get to know it more. Then I end up with huge chunks at the end I have to cut because I wrote them to the outline and the story has changed since then. And as much as it hurts to cut them, when I read the excised stuff months later … eh, they don’t seem quite as brilliant. :)

Martha Flynn 04.02.09 at 8:24 am

Darn! LOL – I was like “wow, she’s really taking this theme seriously!!!”

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