Revising

Okay, I haven’t blogged since the middle of October.  My excuse is that, in addition to a full-time day job (teaching),  I’ve been fretting over a revision request on a mg novel I’ve subbed.  Chipping away at the manuscript.  Slow-going but I’m still at it.  Whoever said, “Writing is rewriting,” knew what they were talking about.  Anyone can write; it’s rewriting that shapes and makes the story.  I liken it to having children.  Giving birth is the easy part.  

My first revision goal was Thanksgiving.  I’ve since moved it forward to post-holidays.  Sigh.  I wish my day job didn’t get in the way, but then, I probably work better under pressure.  Less time to procrastinate (although I still do – I am a veritable genie at procrastination.  In addition to the real pressures, I can pull more things out of thin air to keep me foolishly busy.) 

I continue to be surprised at this story as I revise.  Someone on the Blueboards called it “breaking open the manuscript.”  It’s just such a slow process for me.  Is it like that for everyone?  I’ve read and re-read the agent’s editorial letter and am trying to keep in mind the well-known advice to “edit with a feather,” but it’s hard.  At the same time, I’m missing working on my other mg story, which is in the first draft stage and lots more fun to work on.   

Warning – Rambling Thought here:  I am looking at signing up for the Vermont MFA program.  Thinking about the hours it would take each week to get through it…hmmm.  Any thoughts or advice?

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4 Responses to Revising

  1. Oh, Sharon, I know exactly how you are feeling! There is never enough time to revise. And yet, it can be such an eye-opening and rewarding experience. But sometimes frustrating, too. To be honest, I love to revise, but I could always use more time when I am reworking a project. Good luck!

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    • skvanzandt says:

      Hi Cynthia, good to hear from you. You are so right when you say it can be eye-opening (and I’m sure rewarding, too, though right now I’m in the pulling-my-hair-out, frustrated stage). What are you working on now? Are you going to NY in a few weeks? I know Jill is. The rest of us critters will be in Austin. Take care!

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  2. Martha Moore says:

    I’m still thinking about your “Y’all” response to the student…your response wouldn’t need a dot or tittle of rewriting…Isn’t it interesting how our off-the-cuff responses are so often the most beautiful? Why can’t all of our writing be so spontaneous and pure? I think those kinds of “blips” give us little lights to show the way, but the work of weaving in the images, the sounds, the sense of it all, must be worked at deliberately, melding the craft of writing with the impulse, the raw creativity. So often it is much easier to stop. The work as a whole can seem so daunting and impossible, terrifying at times. I like rewriting in its last stages.

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    • skvanzandt says:

      So true! I am tiptoeing around this story, nibbling away at the edges, diving in for a bit, then hopping out again. But I see a light, tiny though it may be. I hope you are writing right this very minute. I am sending you writerly thoughts!

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