Saturday, April 3, 2010

Repairing the WIP

I've groaned about revising this WIP long enough. I've procrastinated and creatively avoided the WIP for almost three weeks. Other than reading through my printed pages and blogging about how to avoid working on this POS, I've done nothing to begin the long process of yet another revision.

I'm ready.

I cleared the decks, literally, on Monday with a huge re-organization of my office. I played a bit more. I read through all my contest entries and judged them. Now they are in the coordinator's capable hands. I organized my future online coordinator files and got in touch with the instructors. I went to the library and signed out a bunch of books written by authors who have been recommended to me based on their tone and style. I've brainstormed new ideas for the current revision's direction. I've spoken to one CP long distance about the future of the book and what to look for as she reads my pages. And I spent the morning going through another CP's critique.

Now I've saved my WIP under a new document in Word.

I'm ready to tear into this and start my revision.

I don't plan to start at the beginning. No. I learned a few good methods about revision from a great online class I took about a year ago. In a nutshell, besides the whole procrastination part, I revise my messes by doing the following:

*let the MS sit for at least two weeks, longer if you can (but not for six months)
*quick read through of the hard copy pages with a pencil in hand bearing in mind the WIP's new direction
*mark micro changes as I catch them
*mark global changes throughout the MS based on earlier brainstorming and critiques
*go through CP's comments and grammar check (TG she is so good at the technical side of writing)
*make minor changes and answer some questions immediately in the document
*add my own comments to the doc as I look at CP's work based on WIP's direction
*save the document with stored comments on WORD with a new title reflecting upcoming round of revisions (TFC7)

Now that the new document is stored in WORD, I plan to do the following:

*macro changes first--no point in fine-tuning something that might be cut due to big changes
*cut the scenes that no longer work and shift to a cut scenes document in WORD
*micro changes in scenes I plan to keep
*address all comments after scenes are cut or shifted
*any brainstorming or old scenes that might work are checked for possible use in next draft
*save the doc

After I complete Part A of my revision, I will move my document back into Scrivener's writing program and break all the scenes into separate documents. Then I will will begin the process of adding new scenes, shifting other scenes and fine tuning the story's timeline. I will focus on the revision throughout the month of April.

During the first part of May, I need to step back and work on the contest entry for the MAGGIES Contest run by the GEORGIA ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA.  I will write a new synopsis and fine tune the first twenty-five pages for the contest. I'll probably have other contest feedback to look at and will consider incorporating some of that feedback into my MS.

Once I have that contest entry ready to roll out the door, via electronic transmission, I will go back into the MS and continue revising until the end of June (or hope against all odds that I am finished earlier). Then it's time to put this MS on the shelf and let it percolate while I begin working on a NEW project (yay!) and spend time with my family.

I have a plan. I have an end in sight. I have a bit of hope that I can wrestle this one back from the brink. And that is why I am beginning to feel a bit of a rush, a high and a thrill.

Onward ho!


Gwen Hernandez said...

Great plan, now go! ;-) Good luck, lady.

Christine said...

Thanks and right back to you by friend. We will prevail!!

KarenG said...

Go you! And I'm following your example by starting to clear out paperwork & files.

Christine said...

KarenG: sometimes creative avoidance is our way of letting the right brain kick in with random thoughts and bits of wisdom. Even while I was "not" revising, I was brainstorming and getting a feel for where the characters and book needed to go.

Good luck and happy writing!

susanhatler said...

Great job on attacking revisions! Go go go! :)

Christine said...

Thanks Susan. I know it's hard to get back into the WIP, but I am sure I will gain momentum once I get started.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Wendy Marcus said...

Great plan. You sound both focused and motivated. A lethal combination!!! Thanks for sharing your step by step plan. Very insightful!

Christine said...

Thanks Wendy. I am trying to get this puppy ready for two things: MAGGIES by June 1 and pitching at NATIONALS in July.

I'm motivating myself by brainstorming and free writing my YA idea. No rules. Just words. I figure if I can give myself freedom to play, I'll survive this current revision.