Friday, June 12, 2009

SRS Revision Report #2

That's right! The half-way point, baby! Time to check in. How are you doing with your smackdown goals? Are you half-way there? Doing better? Or do you need a big ol'


'Cause we've got a licorice whip and we're not afraid to use it.

So, come on...toot your own horn...sing your praises...or out yourself! We want to hear it all.

Report your progress here in the comments (today and Saturday) and make sure to come back on Monday to see who gets WHIP OF THE WEEK!


Martha Brockenbrough said...

I'm starting things off on a bad note so everyone else can feel better.

This week offered me no satisfying werplashes of achievement. More like the sound of an overcooked noodle sliding slowly down a wall. In a nonword: suckage.

I had too much to do with my day job and it was also the last week of school, and while I did get to be the grand marshal in the preschool bubble parade, that sort of thing is not compatible with typing, sitting, or anything else. (The worst part: my 5-year-old had a tantrum because the TV stopped working while I was interviewing someone in France for a magazine article. The magazine? About being a good parent. D'oh!)

On the bright side...I did at least get the promise of feedback from my agent on one project. On the dark side, he wants major changes.

I also came up with a revision schedule for the month of July.
And I helped someone else with a chapter. So, small steps.

Jennie Englund said...

Good morning, girls!

This is so helpful/motivating.

So. In May, I received some feedback from an editor for revision on a boy book. It would be largely a subtractive process, whittling 55,000 words down to
40K around a few concepts that support one theme. In addition, I've crafted more unreliablity in the narrator, and flushed out side characters.

Despite my character's unreliability and problem, I want readers to love him. Like I do.

After hours and hours and hours of revision since June 1, I'm at 42,000 words, and still have two (huge) problems: flow and arc.

Two readers will be looking at the MS while I'm in Tahoe next week.

Can't wait to see their suggestions!

holly cupala said...

Ah, the dark side of revision. I never thought of it as an overcooked noodle, but now...

Martha: so how about reviving that shopping date goal? I have the rest of the manuscript to analyze, another hundred pages. After we get back from NYC? Fri?

Jennie: Wow, you are rocking the whip! I'm so impressed by slimming down 13K. A lash of love and sugar-whippin' for those last couple of problems!

I had hoped to finish the big analysis of the whole ms this week, macro and micro notes, but intead I finished the next third - derailed by a trip that ended up being postponed, plus family's impromptu visit to take care of You-Know-Who while we are gone.

The great news(!!!!) is that we made major progress on book 1 this week! A final title (announcement soon, I hope!), and a first cover concept! So next week husband and I are flying to NYC to celebrate and connect with the team. Yay!

Lisa said...

This was a tough week for me -- jobby work and other obligations had to come first all week. I did have a great few hours with the book Wednesday night (wrote 1,500 *new* words across three chapters related to the main conflict!), but that's it.

Oh, and while birthday shopping for three kids of varying ages at the bookstore last night, I spent probably 30 minutes or more (really not sure, as I was in a trance) comparing other books in the genre I'm targeting to slightly older and slightly younger fare. That helped make me feel more grounded in my goal of revisioning this book for a different audience than I first had in mind.

Kjersten said...

Martha, I'm super jealous of the preschool bubble parade. Fun! Some opportunities only come up once. You have to seize the day.

I ended up working about the same amount of time as I did last week, but in quantifiable terms, I accomplished a lot less. But I still met my goal (yay!). And I feel pretty great about it because even though technically the quantity of work I accomplished was less I had the can-do spirit thing going from last week so this week I dove into the pit of it and tackled some of the really hard stuff. It's a really good feeling when you take on the hard stuff and make it through.

It was easier to ignore the rest of the to-do list this week because I left my day-planner in Seattle last weekend. Oops. Somewhere I'm going to have to pay the price, stay up late and play major catch-up.

Sara Easterly said...

I forgot to check in last week, but I've been making great headway on the GN re-write, thanks to your whip-smacking pressure.

I've added four new chapters and polished three others... in spite of what Laini Taylor would call The Temptress, who tried to shake things up when I sat down to write Wednesday. Yup, a brand-new YA novel started seductively whispering to me when I was supposed to be writing an evil principal scene. I spent all day and all night with The Temptress. True confession: It felt so good to start something fresh. But I woke up feeling dirty.

Thanks, Jolie, for convincing me to stay focused on the June goal. I patched things up with the GN this morning and am back at it. Phew... that was close! (And knowing that the other novel is on deck, I think, will compel me to finish the re-write this month, as I vowed to do.)

Realm Lovejoy said...

I fell behind this week. Got only 15 pages out of 20 done for draft, and 1 illustration out of 3. I did get some research done for book and got crazy inspiration I feel like I made a leap of some sorts.

This week, I've been spending a lot of time with friends, going out, and my brother is visiting this weekend. In a way, it's a good thing to catch up with humans. I plan to catch up with work again next week! As my friend says, "work will always be there."

Anonymous said...

I keep sticking the toothpick in, but it's just not done.

BJW said...

Yes Martha helped "someone else" with a chapter...

AND MADE IT SING! I've never been so impressed by someone's comments on my writing before. What a freaking genius Martha is. Man.

Even her posts make my posts jealous.

Hey everybody, great to hear about your progess, or lack of it. I mean it's not great to hear about your lack... you know what i mean.

VERY mixed bag for me. On one hand I've had some incredible breakthroughs with my story, particularly thanks to my wife and "SOMEONE ELSE". On the other hand I am not meeting my goals. Of course I blame all of this on my in-laws moving and accept zero blame.

Maybe a little.

BUT, hope springs eternal, and with some of my breakthroughs, I continue to feel my momentum building and see the rest of this month with me being able to achieve my goals or at least beat the piss out of them.

Just as soon as I move my in-laws...

i'm not a girl but good morning to you Jennie! HUGE congrats Holly, Lisa I feel you this week (that doesn't sound right at all), Kjersten you remain a STUD-ette, Sara nice to "see" you and great work, who doesn't hang out with that temptress now and again when no one's watching, and Realm Lovejoy enjoy your humans but sounds to me like some pretty good progress.

And as ever thank you again Jolie and Holly. This has really been encouraging.

And for the last time, Martha Brockenbrough (miracle if i spell that right) is a flippin' writing/editing God. There I said it. And who gets interviewed from France for good parenting articles (that is funny timing)? And I'd have a tantrum if MY tv stopped working too, even if I'm not a droid. : )

I'd give you the licorice award thingey for how much you helped me alone. Since I have no real power, I'll just gush about you in public. Cheer up, you're a brilliant writer. I'd sacrifice digits to write like you. Have a great week everybody. Two steps forward, one step back. We'll get there.

BJW said...

Sorry that's so long Jolie and everyone.

Ben retreats to his hermit cave.

Kjersten said...

I love what you wrote, Ben! And I second the "Martha is a genius" thing. And I also second the BIG OLD THANKS! to Holly and Jolie. Good luck in New York Holly! I hope you have a blast.

holly cupala said...

Ben, hee hee. I love your runaway posts - please don't retreat to the hermit cave! And I agree, Martha is without a doubt one of the shining, brilliant gems of the world.

holly cupala said...

Thank you, Kjersten!

Ok, back to revision now. My parents are visiting, so that means both more revision time and less revision I think in the end, it all works out. :)

Cuppa Jolie said...

Wow...look at all these comments rolling in. I'm a bit behind and haven't been able to read what you've been up to. I had a special morning at my gym teaching the seniors (talk about a that's a group of people who know what they want!).

But, I'll be back to catch up on all of your reports here in a few!

BJW said...

Yeah, what up with you Jolie? How's it going?

Cuppa Jolie said...

Ah, Martha...if only all our suckage could be as good as yours. Anyone who has already come up with their revision schedule for July is ahead of the game. I'm impressed!

Jennie-Cutting 13K! Wow. That's something to be proud of! And we still have a half the month to go. One week for flow. One week for story arc. :)

Holly-Chomping at the licorice bit to hear the title and cover concept of Book 1. Happy travels!("Licorice bit" just reminded me of Nibbs--is that what they were/are called?--remember those? Now I want some.)

Lisa-New words and bookstore browsing means you're still moving forward! Werplash to even bigger steps next week!

Kjersten-Your kickin' some major smackdown booty! Way to go. And getting through hard stuff. Go, girls. I think you have revision super powers.

Sara-You know I'm all over you like red on a licorice vine! And you're not "thinking" it will compell you to WILL compell you to finish. Werplash!

Realm-Even after all that nice time with friends and family, it sounds like you made big leaps! And crazy inspiration is crazy good--a writerly high!

Jill-You crack me up. Always. When it's done, I bet it's delicious!

Ben-If you lost digits, then how would you type? But, I have to agree...Martha is one to gush about! Keeping moving forward, despite the in-laws! And lucky you for having encouragement from so many lovely ladies! :)

My progress? I guess I haven't mentioned that, have I? And that was the whole point--some accountability! Actually, I think I'm doing really good. I still find it a challenge to measure revision, but I think I'm where I'd hoped to be, and dare I say, maybe even a bit ahead of the game?
I'm about 130 pages into 180, but I still have a lot of work to do. I'm making myself continue to move forward, even though I know I need to go back and look at or fix many things, but for now I move forward then I'll go back through it. And again. And probably again...

We'll see how next week goes when the kids are out of school for the summer. Watch for a post dedicated just to that topic!

Anonymous said...

I posted on Holly's blog and don't know how to delete it. But I had a good week. I'm house sitting in Mukilteo (Is that spelled correctly?)and I can't figure the tv out so, I'm hard at it with some amazing music, a view, and a pale ale.
I've got post-its everywhere-and the idea's are (finally!) flowing. Good luck to everyone. Holly, very excited to hear the title--I just assumed each one was the final one.
shelley s.
PS. I'm guessing most of you don't even remember me--It's been a year since I touched down at SCBWI-But for those who do--Hello!

BJW said...

I'd type by dictation.

Mary said...

This week:
1) finished revising 48-page non-fiction project and handed it off to my critique group.
2)To begin my novel revision I packed up five copies of the manuscript returned from my critique group and set off to visit CHOCOLATE APOTHECARY. Cool chocolate store that serves espresso on the side. I sat in a comfy chair, sipped a mocha and read through all the critiques.
3) Sat down at computer and made the first run-through of the revision deleting an entire subplot.
Feels great.

Cuppa Jolie said...

Shelli - Progress is progress. I'm all for a celebratory crack of the whip for forward motion. And what? You're in Mukilteo? You need to let your Seattle friends know these things! How long are you in town? sounds like a good thing to be stuck in a house where the tv is too complicated to figure out!

Ben - Of course!

Mary - Wow! You've had an amazing week. And the Chocolate Apothecary...sounds like my kind of revision medicine!

Casey Something said...

I've had a fabulous week. I've managed to revise every day and I'm now 78 pages in. Woo!

Great job everyone!

Molly/Cece said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Much better week for me. Just chugging along.
Two members of my critique group brought fantastic revisions this week and it was so inspiring and enouraging to see how others do it.

Maya Ganesan said... scares me that we're halfway through. I've barely gotten anywhere since the beginning of the month: it's mostly been wandering around in circles and not going far.

But I will do it. No matter what. I'll make it happen somehow.

Cuppa Jolie said...

Casey - How fab does it feel to know you had a fabulous week. Congrats. I hope the second half goes as well as the first!

Annie - You knew your week would come! And chugging along means your move right on down those licorice tracks! I think it's so cool that others successes motivate and inspire us! Way to go, Annie (and your crit. group!).

Maya - I know the half-way part does feel scary, but how great that, even though you feel like you've been going in circles, you're more motiviated to get it done rather than give it up. Your can-do attitude will make the path straighter over the next two weeks, I'm sure!

jone said...

I think I am in the same boat as many with not getting what I wanted completed. I appreciate this nudge though!Thanks for offering it!

Helen Landalf said...

I did it! I completed three rounds of revision of my YA novel in one month! (I started on May 13th.) First round was major big change point of view, add a new love interest stuff. Second round was polishing newer scenes, perfecting dialogue and word choices. Third round was what I call "copyedit plus" - copyedit with intermittent fits of "this scene just isn't working, I need to do a complete rewrite."

But I did it! The novel went into my agent's inbox this morning!

Cuppa Jolie said...

Jone - At least it's a boat with company and you all are still paddling through the sea of revisions!

Helen - CONGRATULATIONS. In your agents inbox--must feel both great and scary. I'm glad to read about your three step process and that you were able to do it in a month. I feel like I'm on a very similar path. What's your next plan? Do you have a WIP?

Helen Landalf said...

Jolie, thanks for the congrats. My plan is to wait for the agent to either tell me a) great, this is ready to submit, in which case I'll start working on something new, or b) it needs one (or two or three) more passes, in which case I'll buckle down and start over again!

Molly Hall said...

OK - I am joining late, but I really want to be in on the fun and motivation.

I don't really know any of you. But... Hi, I'm Molly.
: )

I am working on a YA novel. I met an agent at the conference who is interested in seeing my whole manuscript when it's ready (I feel both "YAY!" and "YIKES!) So, I really want to crack that licorice whip!
I said it would be ready by the end of summer. Unlike some of you, I am slower at this revision process. I think I'm doing something more like a "remodel" than a revision.

Here are my goals for June:

1. Complete monster PLOT CHART for YA novel
2. Create rewrite to-do list
3. Write all new scenes/chapters
4. Revise/edit first 10 chapters.

Gulp. That's a lot. But I still have two weeks!

Thanks for doing this!


Cuppa Jolie said...

Molly - Welcome, we're thrilled to have you join us! I look forward to seeing how you do on your goals--might as well make them big! Werplash!

Laurie Schneider said...

Please don't whip me.

I've had to alter my goals, but I did meet my new lower expectation of finishing chapter four of my MG this week and sending it to my crit partners. I'm taking next week off to clean house. I mean, literally, clean house. I bought two new toilet brushes today. Woo-hoo! I'm expecting a revision letter any day, so I figure I'd better clean now...before it's too late.

Michèle Griskey said...

Hi everyone,
It's been a bit of a rough week. In addition to work and mom stuff, I've been taking care of a beloved nineteen-year-old dying cat. :(

I have been revising every day, even if it has just been in little bits. I am at 44 pages.

Kim Baker said...

The good news is, I've been writing every day. The conference zapped my creativity for a while, so it's been nice.

I've been distracted from manuscript revisions this week. I found a similar story being released in a few months. I read the ARC, and it's just too similar for my manuscript to be viable as it is. It's been a bit of a shock, so I'm going to take a couple of days to consider whether the story is destined for an overhaul or the circular file.

StinkyLulu said...

Small but important steps this week:

:: did a full revision of PB#1, eliminating one of my favorite (but ultimately unnecessary characters).

:: stitched together all the fragments of YA in-process into one document & printed up a few copies. Haven't been brave enough to actually read through it, but doing the stitching was a big step.

brian aka StinkyLulu