Thursday, October 16, 2008

So, we meet again, Revisions. Dun-dun-dunn!

I've been (slowly) rewriting my latest WIP. Slowly. Because for the first time ever revisions = rewriting. The first manuscript didn't work, and there was no way to make it work. So I've got one Word document open on top of my screen, and another on the bottom, and I'm rewritten whole great swaths at a time.

Revisions seem to be on the mind of quite a few people recently. PJ posted about it and how she's working on making a great first line fit in with the rest of the manuscript. Kristin talked about rewriting in general:
This is what revising is for me. Writing; deciding it works; putting it away; taking it out again; realizing it doesn't actually work; rewriting; deciding it works; putting it away; taking it out again; realizing it doesn't actually work; rewriting... you get the idea.
And for me, right now, I'm about there. See, it's the set-up that's killing me. I've got a great plot, but I need to make it work.

Segue! I've recently gotten into Google Analytics (thanks Tabitha!) and most people find my site after googling plot vs. story. And, in all reality, that's my problem right now. I've got a plot--with twists and turns and everything--but my story needs work. My characters act out the plot, not themselves. It's more of a puzzle, really, to see what happens in the plot, than an actual story. Readers read to find out what happens, not because they care about the characters.

So while it's great and all that I can at least see my problem, it's the fixing it thing that's killing me. I've rewritten and rewritten and rewritten...the first five pages. Over and over again. And maybe I might possibly have it figured out.

Until I go back and re-read the new beginning tomorrow. :)

Side note: I do think that, at the very least, I can say that I've grown as a writer. I can actually tell what my problem is, and I can actually tear apart my work to fix it. That has been a slow process. But I'm getting there.


PJ Hoover said...

Rewriting bunches of stuff can seem overwhelming at first. but once you get into it, it's much better than that 50th pass through the MS when you can't find anything wrong.
At least you have direction!

Unknown said...

PJ...true...but the whiney teenager in me loves to come out.

Susan: Curses to my muse! (Imagine me shaking my fist to the heavens!)

Angela Ackerman said...

I'll have to look into the google analytics.

I hate revision. I have one MS that seems hideously riddled with poor plot connections and the other I'm changing from 3rd to 1st POV.

I need to drink more, I think.

Keri Mikulski said...

Isn't that a great feeling - when you really get to know yourself as a writer?? Great stuff. :)

Jason said...

You know, I can't wait until I get to revisions. I'll be so happy I actually finished something that I might pop all over the room like a balloon.

It sounds like, although it's rough, you're really growing as a writer. Good luck with your revisions.

Unknown said...

Angela: might I recommend a lovely gin and tonic? Trust me, I understand. revisions are absolutely my weak point as a writer. I either don't see the problems at all, or I see too many!

Keri: It is...but it also kinda sucks! I remember those happy, naive days when I thought I could just write and be published and be a millionaire...

Thanks for the support, Jason!