Archive for December, 2010

Where Do You Do It?

December 20, 2010 | Writing

Ah, I got your attention – didn’t I? So let’s get down to the real nitty gritty , I’m talking about where do you do it – your manuscript revisions? You know that novel you’ve been working on? Slaving over? Just dying to get to ‘The End’ again.

This question came to me as I finish revising my completed manuscript. First, let me say here that I will never write a full manuscript again without some type of ongoing revision schedule in place. I looked at 350 pages and cried. What the Frack had I done? So once I dried my tears, I sought a better more sane way to do this with future work. Which then brought up the question: Where do I do it (revisions)? I’d read published authors advise not to revise in the same place you write. Reason being you’ll get a clearer, fresher perspective on your work if done in another room or another place. Sounded reasonable so I decided to ask authors available on online groups I belong to where they did it (revisions).

The answers I received can be applied to whether you are a plotter or organic writer (which is a much better term than panster). And the consensus was: wherever you feel comfortable and just do it (revisions).

Two authors do it (revisions) in bed. Alone. They print out the entire novel or pages, and work page by page and then input changes on their computer. One stated ‘Is there a better place to write romance than in bed?’ She said she felt special surrounded by books, dictionaries, thesaurus and paper. She also said she locked the door. I considered their method and the Goldilocks in me said I’d be asleep in ten minutes. I don’t find my work, even in its crappiest form dull, but a bed is way too comfortable. I admire their discipline. It also means you don’t have to make your bed.

Another author said she did it (revisions) whenever and wherever she could. Given she worked and had two small children, she’d learn to do mini-edits at doctor’s offices, sport practices and could shut out the distractions. Me I’m too damn nosy you never know when someone might provide a potential juicy plot. However once a woman behind me in the grocery line was sobbing on her cell phone to a man about how he done her wrong. I was extremely uncomfortable and got the heck out of there quickly as possible. When my son had tennis lessons with his pro, I was too busy making sure every bit of my money was rung out him on the court to concentrate on revisions. Another published author did it (revisions) on the morning train to work. It worked for Scott Turow and it works for her, she’s multi-published.

So it came down to this, where you do it (revisions) is a matter of choice and where you can achieve the most success. I’ve held several revision sessions on the computer but everyone agreed it was best to print the pages. So now do I and use a purple, green, or purple pen to mark it up, then input changes on my computer. As for where I do it (revisions) it boiled down to my writing room. I confiscated the living room six years ago and remodeled it into my domain. It is a ‘relatively unchanging environment’ as one writer said why she preferred her writing space. It’s my space and my children have felt my wrath if they enter without knocking or use my computer to check Facebook.

The reason I put revisions in parenthesis is to keep your mind on what I mean by ‘where do you do it’. You know how a romance writer’s mind works.

As 2011 draws to a close and the holiday season is on us, keep doing it (revisions) so when 2012 blasts in you’ll do it consistently and in the right place. Keep writing.

Oh I was going to write about Weight Watchers and writing, but since they changed the program that subject will be tackled in 2011. Still good stuff.

Happy Yule,


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