Thursday, April 3, 2014

Random Thoughts on Revision


  • I love to revise.
  • Since revision often means writing new scenes, maybe a little more love will bleed over into drafting, too. You'd think, right?
  • When two books mash up against each other, I find that in the revision stage it's not terribly hard to switch from one to the other. I'm trying to think if I ever drafted two books at the same time while writing series on deadline. I don't think so. When it became clear that the order of two books was going to change, I set the one aside to write the other first. Either that or I have willfully blanked out the experience. 
  • Extended time in the revision cave has either turned me into more of a night owl or reawakened the night owlish-ness of my youth. My college roommate, a true morning person, got up at 6:45am seven days a week and was in bed every night before 10:30 with almost no ceremony. By which I mean she pretty much announced "I'm getting ready for bed" and immediately dove under her covers straight from her desk chair. I, on the other hand, often got up on weekends just in time to make it to lunch. This changed when I had kids (a shock, I know) -- but I was happily a morning person for a long time afterwards. And I've never been the die-hard night owl my two older children are. Guess I'm a hybrid. Anyway, I find the switch interesting, and I'm enjoying the quiet of late night to write. And for whatever reason, the temptation to waste time online is less then. 
So what do you think -- drafting or revising? One book at a time, or two at once? Have you noticed any changes in your writing life, maybe after having done things a certain way for a long time?

13 comments:

janet smart said...

I like both. But, I do love revising and watching a so-so book come alive. As far as writing two books at a time - I have when one was a MG and the other a PB. But, not two MGs at once.

Bish Denham said...

Drafting for sure and one book at time. I have so many idea floating around that if I tried to work on more than one I wouldn't finish any of them. It's important for me to focus or I'll wander.

Vijaya said...

Funny, we are such opposites! I was a morning person for the longest time until I had my kids and started writing and found that I was less distracted writing at night. Husband and babies would be fed and tired, and any distracting thoughts would be waved away with a "demain" (I think tomorrow in French always, courtesy of our Belgian landlord who always said this when we asked him to fix anything in our apartment).

For drafting, one project only, unless they are related (ex. historical novel, related history article, or science tidbit). Revising is easier and more fun for me too, and I can easily juggle multiple projects.

Wishing you happy nighttime writing. There is a book called the Midnight Disease ... you might enjoy it.

Marcia said...

Janet -- Doing two books at a time of different types does sound easier!

Bish -- I think that's an important point. It can be too easy to end up with several projects started and none finished.

Vijaya -- That is a hoot about the landlord.

Leandra Wallace said...

I love revising- until I get stuck! Stuckage is the pits. =)

Medeia Sharif said...

I love revising. With drafts, even with an outline, I get stuck, but revising seems to flow better for me.

Andrea Mack said...

I used to never work on more than one project at a time. But one of my novels is in endless revisions (rolls eyes) so now I have to work on other things too, just to stay inspired.

Marcia said...

Leandra -- It is indeed!

Medeia -- I think revising flows better, too. And if there's any amount of "stuck," it's like working out a puzzle at that stage, which I like.

Andrea -- Yeah, that's another kind of stuck -- feeling that one project is endless. We have to move on.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I love revising. Having just finished a round, I am trying to reacquaint myself with the characters in my latest project so I can get on with the drafting. There's always a bit of a lag during the transition period, I find.

Medeia Sharif said...

I love revising and I can work on several manuscripts at once. I also love writing late at night or early in the morning.

Marcia said...

Ruth -- I think there's a lag, too, if you set a project aside while drafting it. It's like we don't know them well enough unless we've gone through at least one draft with them.

Medeia -- You are FAMOUS for working on several at once. :)

cleemckenzie said...

I love revising much better than drafting. I feel so much more peace during the R process. Maybe it's because at this point I'm sure I have something I want to perfect.

The way I write has changed quite a bit. Your question made me think about that. I no longer am so impatient to finish a project. Instead, I find i savor the process.

Marcia said...

Lee -- Yes, I think you hit it: It's knowing you have something you want to perfect.