Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 225: Turning a Sh** Gollum into a Unicorn

So, I'm still working on the MS. Polishing it, trying to make it sparkle. I've read and heard a lot of advise on revising and editing techniques and I think I've developed a process.

1. I read the MS out loud.
2. I remember that every sentence must do many things at one time. Each sentence should: read and sound perfect, further the story in the right way, and make the reader want to continue reading.
3. If at any point something sounds odd or just doesn't work, I highlight it in an unoffensive blue gray color.
4. If at any point I find a sentence that is particularly awesome and embodies my voice, I highlight it in a happy pale yellow.
5. If something strikes me and gives me an idea for later in the book (or books, in my case), I make a side note at that point or list it in another document.
6. After I've gone through a few pages in this manor, I go back and prod and poke and manipulate those places that needed fixing until they are perfect. And I mean PERFECT! No "Oh, that's fine," or "That'll do for now." No! I HAS to be PERFECT! *shakes fist at universe*
7. Once I'm done going from front to back, I will go from back to front, starting at the end of the MS.

And this is where my silly post title comes in. I love Kevin Smith and the whole ViewAskew universe. In his film, Dogma, there is a sh** gollum. It's the most disgusting thing ever. (I was going to put a picture of it here but it's just too gross) Of course, I don't look at my MS this way, I love my book (you hear that book, I love you, so give a girl a break, okay?). But, I plan on taking this thing that has practically turned into a monster and molding and manipulating and coaxing it into the beautiful thing I know it can be. A glorious unicorn, prancing through the valleys of representation and publishing!

Hey, what happened to that unicorn's corn?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 216: Man, I Hate Math...

That took way too much brain power to figure out what day I'm on.

Anyway, so, I'm doing this 1st Five Pages Workshop over at Adventures in Children's Publishing. Here's my most recent revision here. If you're interested in participating next month, keep an eye on the blog. Believe me, it's well worth it! It has been amazing getting feedback from other writers. My only problem is I had to cut like a chapter and a half off the beginning to get to this point. Which means quite a lot to my MS, because during this revision I've cut a lot of things. My MS is shrinking by the second. It's the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING BOOK!

If I decide to stick with this new edit on the first five pages, I'll have to do a good bit of reworking and mooshing and squishing to keep those words that I love. Very daunting, people... Not to mention I've given myself a deadline to have this MS in near perfect status... FOUR DAYS from now! *le sigh*

Enough pity partying. It all comes down to the fact that I will finish, this is not the end of the world, it is a good thing. I'm getting wonderful advice from encouraging people and I'm thankful. But, man, this is hard! Okay, that's the end of my whining, I promise...

And that's all I have for today.

Question: Have you ever gotten to a point in your MS that you thought "Yes, I love this," then you're told by a critique partner that "I think this needs to be totally reworked,"? How on Earth did you deal with it?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wow, It Has Been A While

Yeah, I've kinda been neglecting my blog. BUT, it was for a good reason... At least, I consider it a good reason. I've been working like a mad woman trying to prefect my MS and my query. Annnnndddd, I'm nearly there! I have 2 chapters left to really work on but I need to do a complete read-through so I can make sure I bring every little thing together in those last 2 chapters.

So, can I just talk about how unbelievably unnerving this whole process is? Well, I'm gonna.

My husband keeps comparing it to having a baby. I'm sure this comparison has been made before, but it's SO true! At first, you're excited but, also, scared out of your mind! Then, time goes by and things start to really suck. You're uncomfortable, you're starting to wonder if you're really ready. Then, it's almost time and all you can think is "I'm sooo over this! I'm sooo ready for this to be done!".

So, here I am. It's pretty much done and I'm still scared to death. I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's not stopping me, apparently. Like an idiot, I'm still going to go through with it. And, just like having a child, the anxiety and freaking out will never end, I know. But, you know what, this is the only thing I've found that makes my heart beat faster, makes my brain sizzle, makes me want to scream and laugh at the same time, makes me want to do this for the rest of my life! I want this! And I've always been the type of person that, if I really, really want something, I'll find a way.

Whew! Sorry, about publishing my own pep-talk but, hopefully, it'll get you pumped up, too.

Living the Dream Copyright © 2012 Design by Rachel Silberman to fit Leah Rae Miller