Monday, November 17, 2008

Top 5 Things I Learned While Revising

5. Perfection isn't reached when there's nothing left to add, it's when there's nothing left to take away.

(I'm not saying my manuscript is "perfect"--but I did succeed in cutting almost 9,000 words. Yay!)

4. You know that scene, the one everyone in your writers group has said, "Hey this is really great--but I think you should cut it because it doesn't add anything to the plot," but for three and a half years you've ignored them over and over again and thought, "I will only cut this scene if an editor/agent tells me too!"? Yeah, well, guess what?--you're going to have to cut it.

Kill those darlings, baby. Kill those darlings.

3. When marking pages to come back to, DO NOT absentmindedly stick Post-it-note tabs to your lips. They may actually STICK!

2. In the words of my high school drama teacher who used to stand in the back of the room shouting, "ST! ST! ST!" while we rehearsed girl+guy scenes: You must, and always can, add more sexual tension to scenes between the story's romantic leads.

(I'm NOT talking about adding sex to the story, I'm talking adding "tension"--lest anyone be confused ;)

1. If anything can go wrong--it will go wrong.

Like the laser printer will run out of ink right when you need to print your entire manuscript, and the ink cartridge you bought a few of months ago to have on hand in just such an emergency turns out to be the WRONG size. Oh and Dell refuses to let you return it for a refund because you bought it so long ago. So not only do you have to pay $120 for a new cartridge plus overnight shipping to get it asap, you also have to eat the $120 you shelled out in an effort to be prepared in the first place.

OR . . .at the very moment you finally finish the revisions for your agent and need to email them off so he can take your manuscript on a trip with him, your modem has a stroke and completely stops working. And no matter how long you are on the phone with tech support, or try to reset the $#@& modem, the thing is dead. But fortunately, on your 1000th try at hacking your neighbor's wireless all night long, it finally connects at 5:00 am and you thankfully get it off just in the nick of time. Woo Hoo! Oh btw, the modem has made a miraculous recovery and is working just fine and dandy now. I love technology.

That's enough for now. I'm anxiously waiting for the "green light" from Ted. We may actually be DONE with revisions and ready for SUBMISSIONS. Stay tuned--I'll let you know. Also, just as a teaser, I've got a great post coming soon. I'm thinking of calling it "The weekend I made a new friend, went to the wrong party, showed up at the wrong place for a conference, and had dinner with my fabulous agent--twice!" I even have pics.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...
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brickhouse79 said...

I learned a few things from Bree's latest round of revisions too:

5. Don't tease Bree when she is in the groove (or stressed--yikes!).

4. However, Bree is really cute when she gets in said groove.

3. Sorbet is a must! (you know, since chocolate ice cream is out.)

2. Adding more sexual tension to her book is a very good thing...

1. And most importantly: Despite her denials to the contrary, Bree is very very talented.

Mrs. Organic said...

Can't wait to read it. It looks like your hubs can write too. :)

Brodi Ashton said...

I love your top five, and will try to incorporate them into my own revisions. Can't wait to read about your weekend! How do you make it all the way to the right building, and still end up at the wrong party? :)

Rachel said...

For future reference, Crystal Inn has free wifi that you can hack from their parking lot. Not that I've ever done that in times of desperation or anything... ;)

So glad you got your revisions submitted in the nick of time! Even your life reads like a novel--overcome one obstacle only to be faced with another. But in the end, the heroine prevails!

Kimberly said...

Wow. Good work. I'm glad you made your deadline! But the real question is--did you get any sleep? After all the awful things you went through, when I saw that you finally got the draft sent at 5 a.m., that's when I REALLY felt bad for you. Were you up that whole time?

Bree Biesinger Despain said...

I gave up and went to bed at 2:00am. At around 1:00am Brick offered to take it to a hotel that has free wifi, but being a firm believer in the "if it can wrong, it will go wrong" rule--there's no way I was going to send him out in the middle of night to do me a favor. I mean, anyone who studies fiction or teen drama TV (Dawson's Creek anyone?)knows that if you send your hubby out late at night to fetch things like milk, ice cream, or to hack someone's wifi, he will either get in a horrific car accident or shot by gang-bangers. Sad but true--I really do worry about things like that. Did I ever mention that I'm a tad neurotic?

So anyway, I did not stay up the WHOLE night. I went to sleep around 2:00am and then sat up in bed at 5:00am with the distinct feeling that I should try it one last time.

Patrick said...

You can get post-its to stick to your lips? Sweet!

Kim said...

That's crazy how much went wrong, but I guess it turned out all right, right? I can't believe you cut 9,000 words. Great job. I can't wait to read it.