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Random Things to Know About Revision

Just wanted to give you some quick pointers that I've picked up as I've been revising.  Here are some random things that have popped out at me while I've been working and learning.

*Although an author's job is to be artistic and unique.  There are certain things that I say that make no sense...

ME:  "I could feel the ugly desire like a stench that hung in the room."

ANICA: "But you can't feel a stench."

ME: "Damn."

There were more, but I don't love you that much.

*Everyone in my manuscript...

-rolls their eyes...a lot.
-grins, giggles, laughs, chuckles and smiles...a lot.
-has very expressive eyebrows.

*When I like a word, I really like it...

-Look and it's many deviations may be one of my favorite words in the english language.
-This would be closely followed by my affection for the word voice.
-On the other hand, I think you can't use snarky too many times in one manuscript.  Seriously.  Anica is sooo wrong about this one!

*I have obviously not effectively mastered the use of...

- Commas.  I believe that a good reader should just "know" where I need to take a breather.
- Semi-colons and colons.  *shudders*  But I blame that on A DASH OF STYLE: THE ART AND MASTERY OF PUNCTUATION By Noah Lukeman.  (Which I was reading while revising for my agent Michelle Wolfson)

"Which brings us to the underuse (or absence) of the colon.  The colon is a mark that never truly needs to appear in a work, and thus it is hard to criticize a text bereft of them.  Nonetheless, there will inevitably be at least a few instances when a colon can be used to enhance, and thus its absence (when needed) might indicate a writer who, at the most basic level is less seasoned, unable or unwilling to experiment with nuances.  He is also less likely to use other sophisticated marks such as semicolons."  Noah Lukeman

In retrospect, I suppose that this was not a punctuation dare.  In the future I shall keep my less seasoned, unable, and unwilling  experimental nuances under control.

*Odds are...

-If I wrote a very pithy phrase, I repeated it some place in the next three pages.  I'm not sure why I did that so much.  My best guess is that I was so mesmerized by my own writing technique I got distracted.
-I'll use two or more words to describe something when one would be effective.
-I like retro references from the 70's and 80's that today's teen might not even understand.  Wow, I should have had a V-8!

*I love...

-DASHES--I put them everywhere.  When I'm in the throes of writing--I kid you not--dashes are my favorite punctation--besides colons and semicolons--of course.

*I find it really annoying...  

-That when you make up an imaginary world, all the rules have to be consistent.  Someone is always pulling a fast one on me in my world!  Maybe a little inconstancy keeps everyone on their toes.  Roll with it folks.  No?  All right, I'll work on that.  *head thunk*

*EVERYTHING about revision is better when...

-Your editor is a flagrant user of hearts and smiley faces.
-Your editor doesn't pull out her hair and fire you because of all of the things mentioned above.
-Your editor admits that you made her cry, which makes you cry too.
-Your editor writes on the last page, next to the final word...beautiful.  And this gives you enough courage to keep believing in yourself.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
She sounds like a lovely editor. Thanks for sharing that.
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
She is amazing! How has the writing been going with you?
Aug. 2nd, 2011 12:10 am (UTC)
Good, I wrote a lot for the 5 weeks my boys were in day camp. Now one is done and the other has one more week left. gotta squeeze it in at night.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
My boys have had good days and days like today LOL! We had one week of camp, but that was it. Doing a half day lego camp in a few weeks. I see the light though...all three in school, full time for the first time come September. :o) Congrats on all that writing!
Aug. 1st, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)
I love the very last two sentences, especially. Well done!
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
I loved them too-thank you. <3
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 1st, 2011 11:12 pm (UTC)
Phew!!!! :o)
J Scott Savage
Aug. 4th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Great post
I used to hate revisions. But the more I published, the more I realized how much I'd rather get a killer edit and have my work go out at its best than a weak edit and discover the issues once the book was actually in print. Yay for great editors!

My advice on commas is. sprinkle enough of them through your manuscript that the editor sees you know they exist, and let them fix the rest. I've studied comma rules forever, and still always get them wrong.
Aug. 5th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
Re: Great post
I agree completely and that is my new comma attack plan!!!!
Aug. 4th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Great post--informative and funny! (That dash is just for you. Haha.)
I wish I'd gotten to read more than then the first ten, cuz I'm dying to see the last two sentences. I can't wait to read Touching the Surface!
P.S. I'm known as a comma slut.
Aug. 5th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
Maybe my dashes and your commas can date?
Aug. 4th, 2011 09:24 pm (UTC)
Great post. I've run into a lot of these same problems. Like the dash--I love the dash. I feel they really could belong in every sentence--every, single one. ;-)
Aug. 5th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Kimberly J. Sabatini

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