Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Revisions

Did anyone else become even more lost during revisions?

Last night, I planted myself at the bookstore for a few hours. I was ready to change, create, trash. But as I read through the manuscript, I found it boring.
Yes, boring.
But I'm not sure if that idea is tainted with my bias.
So, I considered putting my first few chapters as a blog entry, just to see if any skilled readers had the same sentiment. The wonderful Laura , Gargi, and Rachna have already given me excellent feedback so I thought a few more eyes wouldn't hurt.


Also, I thought I'd share how I started revisions rounds in case it helps anyone else:

1. One round was for each plot/subplot issue
2. Another round was to make sure settings were well written and showed character
3. Dialogue check
4. Each chapter/scene ends with increased tension and higher stakes
5. The themes are clear and consistent

During my zoomed out revision, I will read it out loud to make sure that the rhythm seems appropriate, sentences are worded well, and metaphors make sense.

For those of you who are also revising, good luck!!


  1. You're a badass for doing this while the rest of us are stressing about school.

  2. Maybe you need to step back from it for a little bit. Do something fun or write something completely new and different. Then you'll have fresh eyes and a clear mind for your revisions. Good luck!!!

    Btw, the quotes in your previous post are fantastic. I love how you took a picture of the book instead of just typing out the quotes. Very artsy!

  3. As each page churns out in the first draft, it feels awesome. The growing pile shows just how much you've accomplished and it spurs you onward.
    At the start of the second draft, the large pile that was once your friend becomes a mountain of doom.

    You will get it. I CONSTANTLY feel everything I write is trash or dull but I still write.

  4. Saumya, I too am revising, so I can sympathize with you. Please don't put up any of the chapters as a blog entry cause you will be harming your chances of publication. Agents will not touch something that has appeared previously. Email the chapters to crit partners or those whose feedback you trust.

    Its perfectly okay to find your own work boring. Happens with me all the time ;)

  5. Thanks for the advice, Rachna :) I didn't even think of that. Hope your revisions are going well! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  6. I'm not even finished with the first draft yet but I keep going back (I try not to, but it's hard to ignore when you know something needs fixing) and sections I thought I liked I can't stand anymore and the ripple effect of these changes will carry through the whole WIP. ARGH. I feel your pain.

  7. I enjoyed reading your first chapters, Saumya! As I told you before, I think you write quite lyrically, very beautifully. Now you just need to incorporate what Donald Maass calls micro-tension. Check out the excerpts from his book online (I think they're up on the Writer Unboxed site).

  8. I'm with Laura...I think it's time to step back from it for a few days. I think we've read our own words over and over again, and they become boring. But if we step back, and forget about the nitty gritty of the story for a little bit, it becomes exciting again. I wish you lots of luck with your revisions!

  9. Ugh, revisions. Yes, sometimes I'm so lost that my head starts to spin! Then I try to create a kind of character map to guide me through. Good luck!

    My blog's disappeared so my temporary home is here!

  10. I'm revising now too. My biggest frustration is that it doesn't happen fast enough! Good luck, Saumya!

  11. I do not enjoy the revision time. But if I read a boring passage--out it goes!

  12. if it cools the mind then good.