Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WiP Wednesday: Polish, Polish, Polish

It's been a while since I've done a WiP Wednesday, but I am still working. And reading, and crafting. Things are really flowing right now.

I just finished one last revision of EVANGELINE, a rewrite, really, since I went back to first person from third. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. But I find that when I have to make big changes like that, I'm reading more critically than when I'm trying to slog through line edits of the same old writing, day after day after day....*zzzzzzz*

Sorry, I just nodded off there for a second thinking about line edits because they're so BORING! Maybe boring is the wrong word. It seems like an indomitable task to revise one sentence at a time when there are So. Many. Sentences. Left to go.

One trick I find that works really well for me is to isolate the passage you want to work on. Take it out of context to feel less overwhelmed. As in, copy that troubling passage to a clean document and work on it there, where you can escape the frustration and overwhelmation (yes, I just made that word up. I haven't had my tea yet. Gotta problem?) you may experience when you see all those unfinished lines in front of you.

I recently used this technique to revise my opening and I'm much happier with the voice I've got. Working with a chunk of about 250 words made me feel calmer, more in control of the whole situation. I'm trying to enjoy the journey, as advised by Ms. Marly Rusoff in her Tennessee Williams Literary Festival Master Class.

I "discovered" this method while reworking a passage for one of Miss Snark's First Victim's 250 word excerpt critiques. If you don't know about Authoress and her Secret Agent Contests, I strongly urge you to find out! There's one coming up next week. Good luck to all who enter!


Abby Annis said...

Are you entering MSFV again? Speaking of glutton for punishment... Kidding. I'm sure you'll do awesome if you enter. I wanted to enter too, but yeah, still rewriting. I'm such a slacker.

Great tip! I'll have to try that when I'm revising again. I totally understand the overwhelmation. ;) It can be especially overwhelmating when you have to come up with new, fancier words to describe that feeling. :D

KM said...

Revisions can definitely be overwhelming. I'm about to start on a serious one on my YA book, and I'm dreading it. The word count is too large, and I need to tighten a lot - saggy middle.

I laughed when I read "So. Many Sentences." Reminds me of my friend who doesn't like to read. She once said, "There's just so many words!" lol

Susan R. Mills said...

I work like that. It's so much easier for me to look at small chunks at a time. Perhaps it takes a little longer, but I think I get better results.

L.T. Elliot said...

What a great way to do line edits. Thanks, Tere! I liked the idea of working on a clean document too.

AchingHope said...

Hey! Found you through Fiction Groupies.

Ugh. Editing. Line edits just sound torturous. Hope all goes well with your editing :)