The Spinning Wheel,
L. Campbell Taylor, R.A.,
oil on canvas, exhibited 1930.
Dr. Durham, the author of The Lolita Effect makes a guest appearance on Ello's blog today.
Sweet Cindy has achieved a lovely three book deal with a Harper Collins imprint. If we go congratulate her, it will help her make it seem more real.
And BookEnds posted valuable advice on editing by request of an agent or editor before a deal. As always, the comments following that post include additional information and perspectives.
As I high-ball down the track toward finis, whistle screaming to clear the crossings, (pound, keys, pound) revision heads toward me like an incoming locomotive.
Logically, I suppose, one could revise according to a strict formula and go grimly through an MS with a check list focusing on a single element each time.
Micro edits for spelling and grammar and punctuation, the dangling phrases, the agreements of subjects, predicates and pronouns, weak verbs, vague nouns, useless modifiers, lengthy paragraphs, use of senses, impossible physical positions, sneaky cliches -- the usual WTFs.
Macro edits for plot holes, inconsistent motivations, entirely useless scenes, tension, suspense, conflict, character development, stereotypes, differentiation in dialogue...
While I admire the function and precision of that style of revisional process, I just can't adhere to the formula. Often, I feel guilty that I don't-- because its application, for all its rigidity, sounds so...well...objective.
Instead, with the above lists in mind, (as well as a secret inventory of my personal narrative tendencies and irritating weaknesses) I try to apply a cold and cruel eye to individual scenes and/or chapters -- in a hope that when I finish I will not Be Thoroughly Sick Of The Entire Sucky Story Which No One In Their Right Mind Would Ever Publish.
I tend to revise as I write. Frequent back-pedals to fix this and expand that, as if two programs run simultaneously in my head: one sweating over the scene at hand and the other critical of what has gone before.
And I have found that if lines one has written yesterday or last week intrude during the writing process -- as they are wont to do as one weaves themes and threads -- I should listen and go back to fix the sucker. Right then, not later.
Still, I like revision. It's so hopeful.