Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ah Revisions...

So I'm smack dab in the middle of my second week of revisions for Wolfy Love Story. Admittedly, this is new territory for me- since I have the attention span of a fruit fly and almost never see a story idea all the way through the end.

And I find I have several tasks ahead of me. Fist, and most importantly, I've got to go through and lengthen the parts I rushed and slow down the parts that drag on so the whole thing flows better, but that's much easier said than done.

What do you delete? What will you regret deleting? Does that part where the two MC's are having that heartfelt conversation at the beach really move the story along, or do you just like it?

It's really hard to find that balance. Even with feedback from a crit partner, but that's mostly because I'm always fighting that voice in my head that says "She just doesn't understand the characters as well as you do, that's why she doesn't think is necessary."

That little voice gets on my nerves about seven hundred and twelve times a day and there's no shutting her up.

I also have to figure out how to get from around 112,000 words to around 95,000, which is better than I expected. It would be a lot harder to chop out say, fifty thousand words, but when everything still feels vital, even five hundred is like tearing off your own skin.

Normally at this point I'd set Wolfy aside and  start on something else, but this story is so ridiculously stuck in my brain that I dream about wolf tracks in the sand, and I can't listen to country music without totally zoning out into that little coastal Maine town that lives in my mind. I even catch myself keeping track of how full the moon is!

So I'm in need of some tips! When you're wrapped up in a story like a raccoon caught in a fishing net, how do you distance yourself when taking time away just isn't an option yet? How do you separate the cute from the vital? How much of the love story can you sacrifice in favor of action before you lose the characters drive to do the things they do to save each other?


  1. Revision is HARD. I've been in the "revision process" for months now. And like you, it's hard to know what to cut, what to leave in, and what to add. But I will say this, I took a long break from my book and now that I've come back to it with fresh eyes, it's made a big difference. I probably set it aside for two months (longer than I'd like), but I feel totally refreshed and ready to go.

    I will say this - don't take away from the things that bring your characters to life. You can cut extra dialogue and scenes that seem to drag (we don't need to know every single step the character takes to get from point A to point B unless it's super relative), but you MUST keep the things that make your characters who they are.

    Easier said than done, I know. Let me know if you figure out a fool proof method!

  2. Yes, I've struggled with revision for some time, and I'm actually two-thirds of the way through Holly Lisle's "How to Revise your Novel" course and LOVING IT! It isn't quite fool-proof, but it gives you a step by step framework of what to tackle when and has taught me all kinds of things I'd never have thought of on my own about how to take a good first draft and end up with a great novel! I definitely recommend it, as you might be able to tell. ;)

    Urgh - the blog comment captchas are getting weird and numberlicious lately.

    I'm looking for some ninja writers to interview for my Ninja spotlight series. If you're interested, go to to find out more!