To get ready for today’s Write-a-thon, I went out and spent about seven dollars on Post-Its. They’re expensive! There’s little colored flags and tiny fluorescent Post-Its for mini notes.
Why do I do this? Because I think that using this special method will somehow, inexplicably make this final revision process fly smoothly. There are some changes that need to be threaded through from start to finish. So I’m going to assign a color to it and mark up all the pages.
I’ve never actually done this before. Anna DeStefano suggested this in a workshop at RWA and her process is very close to my process: Fast Draft the “ugly draft”, fix global/structural issues, then line edit. She’s just way more organized — and way more successful. 🙂
Another part of it is magic. Yes. Magic. I think feeling I have a special trick calms me down. I know it’s all psych0logical. Every big endeavor needs a special mind trick and this time, it’s Post-Its.
There are so many colors. So pretty!
I’m slogging through the hardest part of revision right now; the mushy middle. If I can tighten it and build the tension, the reward is that the ending will write itself. If I can’t, the book falls apart and there’s nothing I can do.
I wanted to revise six chapters this weekend because I’m endlessly optimistic that this time, it’ll all flow and it’ll all come easy. No, not so much. I ended up with only three chapters. Every day, I spend the day reading and revising the chapter. It’s a lot more than just line edits. A lot of the times the revisions are raising the stakes and completely changing the scenes so they’re not so “stagnant”. That’s the story killer for me — stagnant. That comment from a CP means I must change these pages or it’s a dead duck.
For the last three days, I’ve gone to bed with one chapter revised, mulled over the end with my head on my pillow, and thought about what still needed to be fixed. Then, with no computer or e-mail in front of me and nothing left to do in the day but try to sleep, I could finally fantasize about my characters. And it’s worked! Last night was the biggest breakthrough yet — my hero’s character arc was stagnant.
The process is painfully slow, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.