So, after watching one movie last night, I’m going to start working on revisions. Here’s my plan: I’m going to put each scene on a scene card, then put away the ms, and just use the scene cards, flesh out who’s in the scene, the senses, the emotions, the goal, etc. Once I’ve done this through the whole book, I’m going to go back and make the changes to each scene, making sure it has all those elements in the scene. I know one of the scenes toward the end needs LOTS of work, emotion wise.

Then, once those changes are made, I’m going to go back through and slice and dice Del’s point of view, make it more sparse, very bare, so his POV scenes are different from hers.

Oh, and I'm going to add a love scene because I think it's important. I actually have more luxury of time than I thought, since Susan hasn't gotten back to me on the Q/S yet.

I want to send the back end of the ms to my cp, but I’m still very sensitive about it. I may even send another story to my critique group for next month. I’ve never felt this way about a book before, like I can’t bear for anything to say anything bad about it.

I realized last night that I wrote it in 2 months. I’d written a bunch in June, but ended up slicing all but 8 pages, started on July 8 and finished on September 8. Huh….8 as a magic number.

So how do you work revisions?

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Anonymous said...

Ooooh, Gerry.....

Ahem. Revisions! I take time away from the ms...at least a week, to let it fade. Then I sit down with a red pen (the teacher in me takes over, LOL) with the entire ms printed out, and I start reading it like a reader. I make notes throughout the entire ms on what is wrong, what is not working, what needs to be changed. Seeing it on paper is different than seeing it on the computer screen. I'm not sure why, but it is. I also read a lot of it out loud. I can sure hear things that don't work, particularly in dialogue, when I do that. (Ouch. It does work. Ouch.) With my last novel, I didn't do the printed out pages, I had to get it to HI too quickly. I did it all on the computer, but I think it went all right (particularly since I had YOU, Mar, to help me...I will be forever grateful). But these are the usual things that I do.


Trish Milburn said...

Whoa, that sounds like a lot of work, Mary. Good luck! And if you don't want to have people look at the book because you think it will steal the magic of the book, listen to your instincts. You're a great writer.

I edit/revise on hard copy too. I always have, even when I worked as a journalist. I just catch more stuff that way, and I do the work usually somewhere other than in my office, like the dining room table. The separate spaces separates the process of revising from the process of writing, physically and mentally, so hopefully I'm able to look at it with a fresh eye.

Shesawriter said...


I discovered the joy of index cards with this last revision. Since I'm awful at multi-tasking (read: Tanya CANNOT plot worth a damn) scene cards are essential. I have a cork board and I tack them there. Seeing how stuff flows helps me tremendously. I even use colored ones for Romance (pink); Subplot (white); Main plot (blue) ... etc. I swear by them now.


Amie Stuart said...

Mary you're making me nervous!!!!!! LOL

Okay it's been a while but my usual routine is to print it out chapter by chapter (somehow I can always keep stuff straight in my head) and line edit--I agree with Joann it looks so different on paper! then I send it off to the CP's as I go. Then I go over it again after I get their crits done and that's it! Easy schmeasy! LOL

MJFredrick said...

So, Trish, you don't think I'm paranoid? I may get the courage to send it out later on, but now it's so fresh, and it was so hard to write. And the critique group is pretty blunt. I'm not ready to hear it yet.

I still can't remember that plot hole I thought of last night.

I do have it printed out. I read that some author (JoAnn Ross, maybe?) uses different color paper for each round of revisions, so my revised stuff is on blue and my new stuff is on the backs of recycled contest entries. I haven't even read it yet.

Tanya, do you do the cards before you write the story, or for revisions?

I haven't written the love scene because then I'd have to come up with a new last line, and frankly, those are buggers.

Watched two movies today, about to watch Sahara.

Anonymous said...

You are a brave woman! The idea of scene cards and color coding makes me want to run screaming. I'm a pantser, and though it would probably be a phenomenal thing for some people, I'd be slitting my wrists with safety scissors. :D

Anonymous said...

You go Mary!
Two months is AWESOME! Congrats on finishing.
I don't give my revisions enough time. I rush through, then rush through again and then send the book in and it gets rejected. I'm NOT doing that this time. :-)

MJFredrick said...

LOL, Cece, I know what you mean, but my feeling is that AFTER the book is written, the cards won't be so bad, ya know? And if I separate them from the book....I dunno. I only got up to p, 40 today.

Mary Beth, the quick revisions and ultimate rejection is exactly WHY I'm doing this. I'd love to leave it as is, myself ;)

Amie Stuart said...

I'm always afraid if I do more than say two rounds, I'm gonna edit the spark out. I figure any editor/agent who wants it will take it if the voice and story are good. No book is perfect but I think being a solid writer shows.

Shesawriter said...


Using the cards is a new thing for me. I had so much trouble plotting my last book, I had to find another way to get the job done because the old way just wasn't cutting it. (g)


MJFredrick said...

I have the worst time plotting. I'm taking a plotting bootcamp right now through my chapter and all the worksheets and terms are giving me hives. While I tried to do the cards ahead of time, I ended up throwing most of them away as I made changes, so they didn't help me anyway. And I did a spreadsheet, but the ending changed completely, so that didn't help. So...I'm trying plotting now.

MJFredrick said...

Cece, two rounds? Hmm. I do about three, before it goes to an editor and I've done one or two after that. This time, the first 100 pages has been redone 3 times already, so they'll get a 4th before it goes in. If it goes in.

Unknown said...

I go through that phase too. Of not wanting anything bad said about story. Those feelings don't usually keep me from sending it out to my cp's though. And once I've gotten all the feedback back I read through the comments a few times and can take it much more rationally.

MJFredrick said...

My cps will see it, eventually. And the first part is better than I thought. I just need more distance before I can hear bad things about it.

Although, hearing bad things about the ms that just finalled didn't feel any better ;)

Amie Stuart said...

2 Rounds and that's if it goes right. If it don't (like the chick lit) then that's not editing, that's a rewrite LOL

Plotting? *shudder*

MJFredrick said...

Okay, my first half definitely gets more than two rounds. My back half might settle for two rounds. Of course, I've been rejected a bajillion times, so maybe I should have more patience!


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