Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Meeting

I'm excited.  The revision ball is rolling, and I'm running to keep up.  Although, I'm finding that revising is seeping into my pleasure reading.  I'm asking questions of the authors.  It's terribly annoying.  I'm asking them to quicken the plot, get to action. Was that scene really necessary?  Develop that character.  Are you missing an opportunity here?

Except when I started (and quickly finished) Catching Fire, which kept me up at nights, flying through the pages.  I loved it.  Not great to come upon daylight savings sleep deprived.  And now I'm reading Mortal Instruments, Book II, City of Ashes.  Signed by the author!  I went to an amazing question-and-answer book signing last week, with Cassandra Clare, Kelly Link, and Holly Black.  Super wonderful, super fun writers.  Stop back here on Wednesday, and I'll tell you more about it.


This week, I'm planning on revising the rest of the first two-thirds of my MG book.  I'm at chapter five, and really enjoying what's coming out of this revision.  If you're curious, the pink stickies represent things that pull me out of the story, green stickies are missed opportunities, and the orange are line edits.  I really need to revise on paper to see what's going on.  I'm recycling a lot these days!

I also want to invite you back this Friday for a fantastic interview with that dancing fiend, Kelly.  Stop by her blog so that you can ask an informed question!

So, what are your goals for this week?  Does your writing impact your reading?  Do you revise on paper or computer?  What are you reading?       

32 comments:

  1. What you say about reading is true for me too. I look at everything totally differently based on what I'm revising. And right now I can barely read at all! Goal: revise all the way through to the new location of the Jude meeting. That is plot box 6 on the nine point plot grid. Getting that far is going to require a lot of unplugging!

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  2. I'm with you! Sorry I missed you this am--I'm going to blame the time change rather than my late night reading! This feels like a good unplugging week. Let's set some times!

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  3. I actually read a whole big book last week (Beautiful Creatures). So my pleasure reading was up and my writing was down. I did though write an essay for my online class and researched an agent I will be talking with later today (I won the talk on a blog contest). I like these Monday meetings so I can write a goal in public so maybe I'll stick to it! My goal is to write some poetry to submit to a new magazine I saw on Verla Kays blueboard.
    Thanks for featuring me on Friday, Heather!

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  4. Revisions are sooo hard. I experience the same thing when I'm drafting...can't write fast enough. Can't sleep. Can't eat. It's consuming and altogether fantastic.

    The only time I enjoy revisions is when I get enough done to really see the difference. The "Wow. This really is a lot better!" feeling.

    I do the same thing you do when I'm reading, too. I look for places in my pleasure reading that slow me down as well as the ones I tear through and the parts I come back to. Reading with a critical eye is a huge help to writing.

    Go, Heather, GO!

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  5. I really want to get to my revisions (WOW, Heather, I covet those stickies - I have get me some of those!). I'm finishing a work-for-hire project right now -- love that process -- but revisions on my WIP YA are calling to me...
    Reading "Magic Under Glass" by Jaclyn Dolamore. Goal - finish wfh, and get some stickies for the revision process... :)

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  6. Those stickies are awesome! It's a good idea to revise on paper, but here lately I've been using the computer. But there's an added element when you print it out...it's almost like some mistakes are invisible until the copy is actually in your hands. Weird.

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  7. Heather, I think this is exactly the reason I've been reading the same novel for the past month. I can only read a chapter or two before I start picking it apart. I'm thinking I might just have to give up on this book before it makes me nuts.

    Great sticky note method! Good luck with revisions!

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  8. @Dena Daw: You are so right about the typos, etc, that jump at you from paper.

    If any of you guys have eReaders that works,too. I email my WiP to my Kindle address every once in a while and read it there, where it "feels" like a book. I can make notes on it on the Kindle, too. But I have to say the Heather Sticky Note Flag system is full of awesomesauce.

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  9. Ah.. This week I'm continuing to edit. I have to pick up the pace of that since right now I won't be done until the fall. And since I edit on paper, I have to go type it all up afterwards. I have to do the editing on paper; I feel that I half-ass it on the computer.

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  10. Wow, you are so organized. I love seeing how other writers work, especially those who ... you know, have, like, a process, or something. (You might guess from my tone that I am not the most organized author in the world when it comes to revisions.)

    I revise on computer. When I revise on paper, I then immediately lose the printed copy and have to redo it all on computer anyway. I could never use the stickies, but I love that you do. Very cool.

    My goal for the week is to write a thousand words a day on my WIP. This is actually my goal for the March Madness challenge, but I've only met the goal maybe twice so far this month.

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  11. Kelly--Absolutely my pleasure to feature you! It'll be a ton of fun. Those weeks of quick pleasure reading are awesome, although I'm pretty sure that when you're writing, nothing is completely for pleasure. Always looking at books with a writer's eye!

    Laurel--I miss fast drafting so much right now, but I can see my ms improving with each day right now--it's wonderful. I agree about reading with a critical eye. Good stuff. Thanks for the cheerleading! I hope you are getting much accomplished this week.

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  12. KCA--If I don't make my revision engaging visually, I hate to do it. The stickies make it look fun, and makes me feel like I'm making progress. I love them. I also stick them on my computer to remind myself to do something. Either with my draft, or a time I've set to unplug, or to sign my kids up for something. So multi purpose. Work for hire sounds awesome! Good luck getting that all accomplished this week, and let me know how Magic Under Glass is.

    Dena--I've tried to just use the computer to revise, you know, to save paper, ink and cost, but you are definitely right, some mistakes just are invisible on the screen. And, since I'm a visual person, it helps me when it looks like a book. There is also a feature in word processing that you can make your document look like pages in a book. That's helpful too. I generally do my critiques for others in that mode.

    Anna--I find some books to be very frustrating right now. Sometimes I go off of reading books entirely, when I'm flying through a draft. I might have to do the same during some spots of revision. Good luck with your revisions, too!

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  13. Laurel--I can't wait for a Kindle. But, I'm going to have too... But what another great use for one! And, until then, stickies it will be...

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  14. Heather - I meant to ask you about the sticky notes...I would be afraid to do that as they might fall off. Do they stay stuck pretty well? Do you ever switch the sticky notes around?
    Thanks :)

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  15. Alicia--I do most of the edits on paper too, and when I type them into the computer, it's like another round of editing. Good luck with the edits this week, I hope that you make great progress!

    Sarah--it's funny because my process is a work in progress in and of itself. I just search until I find something that suits my whims and the stage I'm in. When I'm not into my revisions, I try something new. So, I imagine, you are plugging away just as you need to, without re-inventing the wheel, which is sometimes how my progress feels... And I keep finding paper drafts of revisions that I had misplaced. Oh, well. Good luck, with the thousand words a day goal. That's a good one!

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  16. I just finished City of Bones and if it weren't for the twist at the end I probably wouldn't have read the second one, but I go to the library Tuesday and will look for it.

    Yes, I do put down books when I lose interest - I mean, after all, I could be writing or revising or staring stupidly at a query letter. But, when I find a gem, I appreciate it that much more!

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  17. You are so organized! Thanks for sharing your revision methods. It's all I've been working on, and yes, it does help to print things out. Ack! Revision is SO much harder than writing.

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  18. Great post, Heather. I told myself, no internet until I got my manuscript in shape to print out for my next revision. It is printing now! My goal--revise it until I feel like it's ready for some readers.

    I tend to do two or three revisions on the screen (sometimes more), just enough to really mess up my ms so I think it's heading in the right direction, then I print it out and go from there and use a ton of different colored sticky notes. I do some color coding, too.

    I'm reading an adult novel--Drop City by T.C. Boyle, set in the early 70's in California and Alaska.

    Good luck w/your revision!!

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  19. I love the stickies!

    I just read BEFORE I FALL and will recommend it in a GAZETTE column.

    I have to write two columns this week, so that will take ahile. I also had an agent wanting to look at my manuscript again, IF I make some changes, so I'll start on those.

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  20. I love how organized you are! I revise on the screen like Paul, and then print. When I go through a hard copy, I just scribble all over the pages. Nothing as neat as yours! Wow!
    I also know what you mean about reading. Recently I had to give up on Dark Divine. But I'm now reading Dead tossed waves and REALLY love it. More than Forest of Hands and Teeth!

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  21. Laura--I solidly liked City of Bones. I'm interested to see if I like the second in the series. I too put down books when they drag. Life's too short, you know. Good luck staring at that query letter. Keep me posted.

    Lori--I likened revising with cleaning today. And I think the metaphor works. And (don't tell anyone) some days I really kinda like cleaning. Once in a blue moon. So, maybe I still have hope (and stickies) for liking revising. Good luck with your revising this week!

    Paul--woo-hoo on printing out your ms. That's great that you're making such progress. I wish you many colorful stickies in your future! Good luck this week. You'll have to let me know how that book is!

    Anita--Good luck with your column! And AWESOME about having agent interest. You're so nonchalant about it. Woo-hoo for you!

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  22. Terry--I love how everyone has something different that works for them. I'm sticking with my stickies for the meantime--I love the color!

    I'll have pick up Forest of Hands and Teeth, first, but it's good to know that you're enjoying Dead Tossed Waves even more. Good luck this week on all your writing endeavors!

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  23. Kelly--Somehow I missed your petite comment about the stickies' stickiness. I have found that they both stay put, and move around well when I need to reposition. I write in the margins of my draft, so at times I need to place stickies over words, and then move them around as I enter revisions into the computer.

    They stick less well on the front of my computer, but they're more temporarily there, anyway.

    I've been very pleased with the sticky flags!

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  24. I find that if I'm not pleasure-reading, I'm not writing well. End of story. (And, yes, I hate it when I can't turn off my editor's brain while reading. In an otherwise fabulous book, I couldn't get over the number of adverbs the author used in her dialogue tags. Every. Single. One. on one page. It was driving me to drink.)

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  25. Kelly- I didn't say and I totally meant to: Can't wait until Friday!

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  26. Karen--that's funny about the dialogue tags. That drives me a little crazy sometimes too. Sometimes I can read, sometimes I don't want too--like if I'm drafting. I like to just draft. When I'm revising, I seriously need the release. Except that my editor is on overdrive right now...

    Tina--Yay for Kelly's interview!

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  27. Yeah, I've seen some interest, but I won't be excited to I get a contract...then, watch out! I may put a Kelly-like dance on my blog.

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  28. Thanks for the sticky tips, Heather! And thank you, Tina!
    Anita - I look forward to your future dance video.

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  29. Ooo look at your stickies and edit scribbles. Go Heather, go!

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  30. Anita--I'm really looking forward to your dance!

    Kelly--Your welcome!

    Casey--Thanks for the cheerleading!

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  31. Unpluggage over! Unpluggage over! Unpluggage over! Unpluggage over! Unpluggage over!

    So excited for Kelly.

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  32. Jon--Woo-hoo! Silent no longer! One more day until Kelly!

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