Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Color Is Your Revision?

I’ve discovered a enormously helpful new revision tool. It’s probably something everyone else has known about for eons, but I’ve just stumbled upon it and it’s keeping me from feeling scattered to the four corners of the universe.

I’ve taken to printing different versions of the mss out on different colors of paper. So the rough draft was printed in white, the second draft was printed on yellow, and the third that I’m currently working on is on blue paper. The final version will be on buff colored paper. (Yes, I really am the queen of multiple drafts. I can NEVER get it in one.)

Such a simple, simple thing, and yet, it frees up just a little bit more of my mental hard drive so I don’t have to stop and think, okay, which is the newest version? I know some people print their version numbers as a footer on the mss, but I always forget about that, and this color thing just makes it so clear.

Plus, seeing the mss on a different colored paper is almost as effective as using a new font for making old typos easier to spot.

It is especially helpful when I’m weaving in bits from older drafts.

Not to mention that it’s pretty. It makes my desk look like a rainbow has exploded on it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Done, Done, DONE!

Yes, that screaming you hear is moi, thrilled to pieces that I've finally finished this wretched first draft. I've never contemplated Death By Unfinished Manuscript before, but this book about did me in.

I started the book on June 3, much later than I should have, but I was distracted by the new book I'd just written and sold, and I hadn't factored in new time management issues involving my PT job and boys home from college for the summer. So all in all, I learned a ton about my process and time management issues, so the agonizing did serve some practical purpose.

And, not only am I DONE! (done, done, done--such a happy word!) but I have ten whole days left for revision. Is life good or what?

And to celebrate, I cleaned the much neglected kitchen and did two loads of laundry. Oh, and made a pet food run. Ah, the glamorous life of an author...

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Someone nearby has gone and fertilized their field, and not with any, run-of-the-mill fertilizer. Oh no. This stuff reeks beyond the reekiest thing in your imagination (even my current writing!) It’s not a simple horse manure type stuff, but some ghastly, vile, fish guts and horrid chemical smell that burns the inside of one’s nostrils. Ugh.

Makes it very hard to concentrate on today’s pages.

Hmm...maybe I can pretend it’s the stench of the Thames and incorporate into today’s writing.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Making My List And Checking It Twice

No, not my Christmas list, my reading list. For when I finish this Book That Will Not End. Well, that and the next book, but I only have six weeks to get that written so I’m sure that time will fly by. I have a whole list of books I can’t wait to read, but they’re too diverting—they’ll take my voice and story interests in a whole ‘nother direction and I can’t afford that. At least not until Jan 15, and then, watch out! I’m going to plant myself on the couch and read for two weeks straight!

Some on my list:

Ink Exchange
Kushiel’s Mercy
The Born Queen
Midnight Never Come
The Sugar Queen
The Immortal

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stuck in iSuck

Bleah. This is the hardest stage of the manuscript, the pure slogging stage, where I am sick unto death of this plot and these characters and whose idea was this anyway? Every word I write reeks of dreck and sewage.

Even worse, I added five pages of revision notes today, pleased that my page count would go up, bringing me ever close to The End. Except, I ended up removing just as many pages as I added. So not only am I stuck in iSuck, but I’m going nowhere too. I formally dub this The Book That Will Not End.

Double bleah.