Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Revision Tips Tuesday

The take it or leave it wisdom continues. Remember, I'm blogging this mainly for me, to remind my own self of what's worked in the past. If any of it pleases you, feel free to walk away with it. (I hope you brought your own bag.)

1) Do your revisions in a different physical place. For me, I often draft (and blog) while sitting on my comfy couch. For revision, I go to my office and sit at my desk. It helps get my brain in gear, and makes me treat my manuscript as if it belonged to someone else. Sitting at desk = Ruthless! Fearless! Organized!

2) Wear something fun. I have the Frog/Toad bracelet I bought earlier this year, and you'd better believe I'm wearing it. But it could be crazy socks, a kickin' T-shirt, or a beanie. Whatever makes you smile.

3) Don't be afraid to move. This means your body----walk, pace, lie down and think, sit on the floor, jump up and down. And it means big chunks of your manuscript. Nothing is irreplaceable. Nothing must be. You are in charge of the story, so don't let what you wrote before rule you.

4) Trust the instinctual part of your brain. If it winces at your choice of words, it's right. If it starts skimming over the boring parts, it's right. If it wiggles uncomfortably when you try to slide a plot point past it, it's right. Yes, use your intellect, make plot diagrams, charts, whatever---but ignore your instincts at your very great peril.

And now my instincts are telling me to put on my bracelet and get to my desk.


  1. I had mucho revisions to do last week on stuff due to a local newspaper. I also had to substitute teach (5th grade). I printed my articles up and revised during my break with a red pen.

    Wearing a different hat (my teacher-for-a-day hat), in a different locale, and using this very teacherish red pen made all the difference. My editor was extremely happy and I owe it all to my other job!

  2. I've got #2 working, here. My monitor has necklaces hanging off the sides and, for a time, I had a little tiara sitting on top. If I felt like I needed a boost, I stuck the thing on my head. It's bizarre how decorating a computer monitor and your head can give you a creative boost. I change mine all the time.

  3. A red pen and a whole other job! A tiara! You guys are way outdoing my little bracelet. It is marvelous how silly things can provide such a boost. But I think of myself as my own employee, and I've got to keep me happy or I'll quit and leave everyone in the lurch. :)

  4. I love #4. Isn't it amazing how many times we try to fool ourselves - we "ourselves" are usually right!

    I also love that you connect the physical with the mental.....

  5. Great tips, Sara! Good luck on your revisions!

  6. Thanks, Barbara, Vivian. It helps to know you are out there writing/revising/struggling too!


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