Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SRS Whiplash Award

It's July 1st. Unbelievable. Doesn't it feel like we just started the Smackdown?
What a sweet treat this month has been. Holly and I thank you for cracking the whip with us. You've helped us get farther than we thought we could with our own revisions.

And whip you did--whipped those manuscripts and illustrations into shape. The licorice has been flying and so have your fingers. They must be the color of Red Vines by now, you've all been working so hard. And we know it's true, because you've been keeping us in the know about your weekly progress.

So now...spill it! Give us the sweetness that is your Revision Report for the entire month of June. Did you meet your original goal? Exceed it? Go on...Toot your horn. Twirl your licorice whip. Smack it down. Tell us how great you did.

Report here at Cuppa Jolie today and tomorrow. And tomorrow, head to Holly's to get the scoop on SRS plans for July. On Friday, Holly and I will announce the reviser who will be taking home the coveted Whiplash Award (don't forget the honor comes with goodies). Personally, I think we are going to have a very difficult job.


Carmela Martino said...

My original goal was to spend 50 hours on revising my work-in-progress. I came close--clocked in 48 hours and 15 minutes. However, I also wanted to revise 50 pages and I didn't accomplish anywhere near that because I got blocked part-way through the month. The good news: I kept butt-in-chair until I finally worked through the block. I hope to start gaining some momentum now.

Thanks for sharing so many great tips this month!

Joni said...

My goal was 5 chapters of one ms; I only got through 3 on that one, but I did more than five on another one (which wasn't a slut project but another revision that I got some professional feedback on this month and wanted to follow up while fresh). So I don't deserve any whiplash award, but I'm happy enough with the progress! Looking forward to who gets the win!

Realm Lovejoy said...

My goals for this month were to get revision finished for first book, 80 pages of the first draft for second book done, and 12 illustrations.

I got the revision of the whole MS done very quickly and got it sent off at the start of June.

I did get at least 80 pages of writing done, although I'm only using 40 of those pages right now for the first draft. I also did a ton of research, outlining, and such. I got the ball rolling and having fun. Can't wait to write more!

While I met my goals for writing, illustrating was tricky. I am an artist full-time so it's especially difficult to find the time when my eyes aren't tired. I wanted to get 12 done, but I got six done this month. I find that I really have to wake up early in the morning to do it. In other news, I am upgrading my computer for my art. With an understanding of my schedule and upgrading my tools, I think I'll do much better next month! I'm glad to have learned about my schedule management, thanks to the Smackdown.

Thanks again, everyone! You're all amazing!

Helen Landalf said...

In all modesty, I think I have to be a contender here. I met my goal of doing a complete revision of my YA novel. (Granted, I did get a head start, but also take into account that this was a MAJOR revision: changed main character to an unreliable narrator, added a new love interest, rewrote major scenes, etc., etc!) Not only that, but I am now 5 chapters into what my agent calls the "final polish" before he starts sending my manuscript out. And in the midst of it all, I managed to doodle with my first draft of a just-for-fun romance novel and brainstorm ideas for my next YA.

Have I made my case??

BJW said...

In all immodesty, I do NOT deserve the award. While I have certainly been trying, I have not met my goals. But, momentum is building. Yesterday alone, I knocked out an entire chapter. My goals were to finish three chapters in June, go to bed by ten every day and up at seven, in order to create a better writing schedule.

I did manage to do a last revision of one chapter as well, with Martha's magnificent help, and "submit" it for my upcoming conference's manuscript review.

One of the main reasons for me joining this awesome smackdown with all you cool writers/illustrators, was to build momentum heading to this conference where my targeted editor, who has expressed early interest, will be attending. I've been woefully behind and frustrated as a writer, but this was my summer to change this and work at FINISHING my long-suffering novel. This summer revision smackdown has been serendipitous indeed. Thank you all, especially our hosts!

I have the writing bug, I've finally caught the scent. I really mean that my writing momentum is building and I'm LOVING the results. Hopefully I can finish my June goals very soon and start on my July goals.

i, chihuahua said...

my goal was to finish everything i needed to submit my graphic novel package to a certain editor.

that would have been: four pages of finished artwork + a revised manuscript.

i completed finished pencils for three pages of artwork + the manuscript revision (copies are in the hands of my capable crititque group right now).

without the energetic support of the dynamic duo, holly & joie, as well as all the weekly comments from participants, none of the above would have been. in the last year i lost sight of my creative goals because i lost all energy & working structure to a serious illness.

i was beginning to feel better when the smackdown arrived. i saw it as an opportunity to revive my creative life. by committing myself, i grabbed the golden ticket, and all the dusty doors of my dreams opened.

thank you everyone.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Well, I am really proud of the progress I made even if it's not award-worthy. I had the strangest week and am trying to figure out if I only dreamed I had to fly down to Tahiti and rescue my injured father from a hospital full of chickens and people smoking cigarettes and other, medicinal herbs. Wait, no...I just checked my credit-card statement. I was there and the Diet Coke really did cost $5.

Anyway, I revised two picture books and finished my YA novel first draft. That was my goal. Given what happened last week, it all feels very anti-climactic. Seriously. Like having crackers for dessert after a 12-course meal.

My dad made it home and is in a local ICU and we're all happy about that, which just goes to show that the definition of happiness is a fluid thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I rocked the revisions in June. Woot! My goal was 3 hrs a day, 5 days a week on the major re-write of my YA. I'm not done the re-write, but I've logged the hours and made good progress, so I'm happy. One more month of serious smackdown action and I should be finished!

Hmmm, that totally sounds like in-your-face BSP. Sorry. I'm just stoked to have made a huge dent in what was at first a fairly daunting task.

Thanks for all the awesome support, tips, and encouragement, and congrats to everyone on their revision progress! :)

Anonymous said...

Martha, wow - a hospital full of chickens!? My gosh, I don't know how you managed to get any writing done at all with all that going on. I hope your dad's doing okay.

BJW said...

"which wasn't a slut project," That's funny Joni. Hate those slutty projects. They make you feel so dirty.

"all the dusty doors of my dreams opened" Aww. I didn't know any of that Karen Ann. What a moving post that I was not expecting at all. Very good for you!

Martha B... I'm, again, very sorry to hear what happened to your dad. At any other time I'd be thrilled you flew to Tahiti, but I hope he heals very quickly. Your funny posts have been missed! But great work on nailing your writing goals amidst the emergency.

holly cupala said...

I'm so impressed with everyone's progress! Even if you don't think you did well this month, consider what you might not have accomplished if you didn't decide to crack the licorice whip with us. You should be proud of yourselves! I know I'm proud!

My goal was to revise the first draft of the second novel, and I just finished! I cut nearly 16,000 words and now have a readable draft to send to my agent. Yippee!!!

Thanks to everyone for helping me crack the whip. I do think we accomplish so much more when we encourage each other. said...

Many thanks to Holly, Jolie, and all of the SRS'ers out there. Your great tips and encouragement really helped me glue myself to my chair and my manuscripts. Heck. The mere act of signing up for this challenge made me suddenly feel accountable for my actions!

And act I did. I revised four picture book manuscripts, submitted one for critique to SCBWI for the LA conference, and worked on an early chapter book. I accomplished this on airplanes, in guest rooms, at a hotel and cooped up in a tent(!) while vacationing in another state. How shockingly antisocial of me. I must remember to apologize to my family.

Deb Lund said...

My goal was to get started revising. I've now gone through about 2/3 of the novel, and I'm not stopping this time. Thanks!!

Deb Lund said...

Oh, my. Hold the presses. My goal focused on getting through my novel, but I also revised and sent off 5 picture book manuscripts.

Molly/Cece said...

My goal was to flip my book from first person to third person I flipped 13 chapters. My mother in law came to visit, my teenagers imploded, and my sis had a personal crisis that required mucho phone time. I submitted to an agent (requested ms, yay!), added two chapters to the work in progress, negotiated 8 author appearences for the fall, I read 1000 essays and my husband was laid off from his job.I still flipped 13 chapters. I would say this month was an abrupt snapping motion or change of direction resembling the lash of a whip. So yeah, I'm the WHIPLASH

Cuppa Jolie said...

This an impressive list of posts! Way to go!

My goal was to get through a major revision--and I did! That feels great. I still have much to do, but I'm so much further than I would be without the help and motivation from SRS.

Sara Easterly said...

My goal was to finish the rewrite of my GN. I didn't quite make it, but I only have 5 more chapters left to write, and a very clear sense of what will happen in each of those chapters so they'll practically write themselves. I'll be a few days late, but feel very happy with my progress, thanks to the public pressure and inspiration you and Holly have given. Woohooooo!

Molly Hall said...

I am definitely not the Whiplash Winner. But I have been a happy, productive participant! I created a plot chart, and another portable plot chart (more like a big book made from posterboard) for when I write in cafes. So useful! I made a complete to do list for my revisions, which helped me get the whole scope of the revision in my brain. I reworked several scenes. And I had a ton of wondrous game-changing brainstorms.

A big epiphany for me was the shift from thinking of it as "work" to "play". For so long I've dreamed of making writing my "work"... I forgot that it's because I love to PLAY with words and imaginary characters and magical lands and juicy situations.
So, I'm back to being a dreaming 13 year old, weaving stories for fun. Thanks!

i, chihuahua said...

i think jolie and holly deserve the whiplash award.

not only did they do their own massive revisionings, that would compete with any top contenders, but they did all those awesome interviews, postings and pep talks.

how can there be just one whiplash award? ladies, i do not envy your job of choosing a winner, but i still believe the award belongs to you!

Kjersten said...

Squeeking in at the last minute with my comment here.

Woah, Martha! That's a crazy story. You should definitely be on the list. As should Helen. And many others. I'm so impressed with my fellow writers and illustrators! What an inspiration you all have been through this. Thank you.

I'm extremely happy with how much I accomplished this month. I revised 9 illustration spreads (my original goal was 10) in my dummy and finished the first phase of my mentor program assignment (which wasn't a part of my original goal but should have been). I feel satisfied with the reward I've already gotten: the work finished.

Thanks Holly and Jolie!

jone said...

My goals were minimal: to revise some poems, stay focused on revision, and to be part of a group who was focusing on revision.
I agree with another comment, you deserve the award for bringing revision accountability into my life. Thanks.