Revision time (or why I’m not blogging so much)

So this is going to be a very quick post. My laptop is in being repaired (you have no idea how much chaos the loss of use of the C and V key caused in my life!), and I am using the netbook which needless to say with its tiny tiny keyboard I find difficult when it comes to writing. I do have a plug in keyboard, but even then, there’s the tiny tiny screen to contend with. So I am sneaking a few minutes on another computer to write this up as I have been feeling dreadfully guilty about the NO BLOGGING that I’ve been doing of late. *bad author, no biscuit*

What I have been doing is going through other manuscripts and working on some of my WIPs in an effort to make them lovely and shiny and submittable.

There are three main contenders – the library book, the space opera and the timeslip. While the library book and the space opera need more rewriting, the timeslip, being the baby of the bunch (written earlier this year), needs a full revision. Which got me thinking about my revision process and I thought I would share it. So without further ado I give you:

Ruth’s Revision Method

You will need:

A lovely notebook with nice paper

A beautiful pen you love to write with

Your manuscript

When I revise a book, I print the whole thing out (in tiny tiny print, double sided to save paper because yay trees). I like the feel of paper, the physical contact with the manuscript and later, the ability to scribble all over it. But not to begin with. To begin with we read.

I read through the whole thing, making notes in my lovely notebook with my beautiful pen. Why lovely notebook and beautiful pen? Well, it slows me down for one thing, makes me think, makes me focus. And of course I like lovely things. If I need to doodle along the side I can do that too. But the manuscript remains untouched. I read right through making notes such as

p. 47 Make this better/ clarify/ simplify.

p. 53 Wasn’t her hair blonde?

p.60 Wouldn’t this be in Latin?

Oh yes, they make perfect sense my notes. Once I have gone through the whole book, I go back through the notes. From reading those I’ll get a general idea of problems with the script, things that need to be changed on a higher level.

Then I go through it again, referencing my notes, and I annotate the manuscript as I go. And once I’ve finished that pass, I open the file on the laptop (which will be back from the repairs people *crosses fingers and wishes really hard*). It’s the hard slog bit of writing, and although I love it, I have to recognise the work that is needed at this stage. So maybe I won’t have to rewrite the timeslip like I do the others. Hopefully!

So blogging will recommence soon, I hope. And in the meantime I’m usually hanging around on Twitter. When I’m not working, obviously. *ahem*

5 thoughts on “Revision time (or why I’m not blogging so much)

    1. I think because I get more in touch with my writer brain with a pen and paper. But I miss my writing laptop SO MUCH right now! Thanks for visiting Anne!

  1. Aren’t we lucky to have different options? I have been known to email my work to my Kindle. But the notebook is vital and, yes, seeing your words on the paper is an important part of the process. Hope you get your missing keys back soon! Sandra

    1. Sandra, I work on my Sony reader too but later on in the process. It’s funny how your eye sees different problems depending on the medium you use. I catch things in print I’d never see on the computer screen. I catch things on the reader’s screen that I’ve missed everywhere else!

      Rhoda, I scribble on the manuscript too. That’s phase 2, which I just started last night!

      Thanks! Hopefully they’ll phone today!

  2. I tend to scribble all over my manuscript instead. I think the lovely book and lovely pen idea is probably better. My writing voice sounds different when I’m writing long hand. Sometimes, it’s just the thing I need.

    I hope the laptop is back soon.

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