Revising

I'm in the throes of revising my middle grade novel HOODOO for my agent.

Oh, you didn't know I had an agent? I have an agent!

I did a big revision before I signed with Adriann, and now I am making some tweaks.

As writers, we are constantly revising, but it does feel strange to do it now, post-agent.

I'm looking at the manuscript a bit differently, trying to be as critical as I can. We do this, of course, when we are revising for our crit groups, but this somehow seems different. I can't really put my finger on it.

It feels like a real job now, as I write. I've always been pretty disciplined in getting words on the page, but now I wish I could do this full-time. I want to finish this book and move on to the next one. But I have to be patient. We all know how slow publishing is. Of course, there will be editor edits, too, if I am fortunate enough to get that far.

So if any pubbed authors stop by, how do you look at your revisions? Any advice? How do you look at your manuscript with fresh eyes when you practically read the next sentence in your head before you even get to it?


6 comments:

K. M. Walton said...

Like you, I treat revision as a part of my job. And I can totally relate to feeling different doing agent revisions - after I queried for 2.4 years and piled up 148 rejections, doing revision for my first agent felt out-of-body exciting. I get where you're coming from, Ron.

As far as looking at the manuscript with fresh eyes - rely heavily on your agent (and one day, your editor's fresh eyes). The adrenaline rush of the whole experience seems to squeegee your eyeballs so that you're looking at that manuscript with NEW eyes. You'll see.

Still very excited for you!

Ron Smith said...

Thanks so much Kate.

This makes a lot of sense. The book has already come a long way and I'm excited to see it grow even more.

Loving this new phase!

Jayme said...

I know exactly what you mean! When you know your manuscript that well, changing even a word makes the whole thing sound awkward – even if the change is an improvement – because you're used to how it read previously. My best advice is to force yourself to let your work rest for a bit. It’s so hard. When your agent is waiting for revisions, every day feels like an eternity, especially when you’re not actively revising. I’ve also found that it’s helpful to retype an entire passage if it’s bugging you. This forces you to slow down and examine every word. This helps me root out exactly what it is that’s bugging me.

Having said all of that, I’m no expert. Good luck with HOODOO! If you find a great editing technique, please let me know. :)

Ron Smith said...

Great comments, Jayme. Setting the manuscript aside is always good. But you know how eager we can be! It does bring a fresh perspective, though.

I heard recently--and I don't remember where--that you are writing for your reader and not yourself. This advice helped me during this revision and I cut a lot of stuff I really loved. But it feels tighter now.

Thanks so much for coming by and for your advice!

Medeia Sharif said...

I revise, put a MS away, hand it to beta readers, put it away again, revise according to beta readers, and so on. It's great seeing a story get stronger.

I'd love to write full-time.

Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Medeia.

Yes, that certainly sounds like a good formula. Unfortunately there is no formula for having no patience and just wanting things finished!