Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Now What???

Not my pages, but the image fits.
After several weeks of sitting on pins and needles, waiting for my critique partners to finish the full read of my ms, I finally met with them last night. It was a great meeting, which gave me a lot of insight, but now, I have pages full of notes staring at me from the corner of my desk.

Fortunately they loved the story line, the protagonist, the setting,  etc., etc., it's all the little changes they've suggested I make: Can you amp this up a bit? Can you show this a little clearer? Have you thought about changing this?

I trust these guys immensely, and I know the changes they suggested will make the story tighter, but how, and where, do I begin?  Should I jump in with both hands and make all the changes today? Take a few days to let their suggestions digest and tackle it next week? Throw my hands in the air and wave them like I just don't care? What do I do now?

If you write, and have tackled the monster of revision, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject. How do you begin the process? Do you give  yourself a goal of ### pages a day? Do you read all the comments and then revise, or read and revise as you go?

My critique partners have taken the time to give me their valuable input and I don't want any of it to be wasted. I'm just wondering what is the best way to get the most out of what they said, without getting overwhelmed.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I should do. Because at this moment, I'm sitting hear with stacks of pages, full of notes, asking myself, "Now what?"

22 comments:

The Happy Whisk said...

Now what? Now you do the real work.

As for me, I love edits and revisions. It's where so much of the work really happens. Or, I feel anyway.

Happy Working :-)

Nick Wilford said...

I think the important thing is to take every piece of advice into consideration, but in the end you have to go with what feels right for you. It's your story! That said, I find if everyone is saying a certain thing doesn't work, they're probably right. And I do wait til I've got feedback on the whole thing before revising. For me, half a chapter a day is good going. Good luck!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

@ Happy Whisk, it's definitely real work.

@ Nick, great advice. I must remember it is my story.

Elise Fallson said...

I should be getting back my second round of revisions within a couple of days too, and after waiting for months, I know I'll dive right in and tackle the edits without waiting. Once the edits have been finished, I'll probably give the whole thing a few days, maybe even a week and then I'll give it a read through. And I agree with Nick, take into consideration every suggestion, but in the end it's your story to tell. Trust your gut, and good luck! (:

Emily R. King said...

Take a break. Clear your head. Go through the notes again and only change what you feel is true to your story. It's YOUR story, so follow your gut!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

@ Elise, thank you. I'm going to need all the luck I can get.

@ Emily, it's so good to hear you (and others) say follow my gut. In the end, I'm the one who needs to be happy with my story.

Victoria Lindstrom said...

When I revise I go through my MS in layers - not expecting to do just one revision. Taking one suggestion from your crit friends at a time might be the way to go - if you're sure you want to make those changes. BTW - I'm a new follower of your blog, Jenn!

Tina said...

I have no idea, haven't finished my WIP yet...but the suggestions above sound good.
Thanks for your sweet comment about my magpie. I appreciate you stopping by.
Tina @ Life is Good
http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/

Irene said...

I write something else first, usually a short story. Then I come back and look at the notes and jot down my first reaction to them. Trust your gut, because you usually know when they are right (for your story, that is. It seems a lot of people already pointed that out).

Tyrean Martinson said...

I read any overall comments - things like . . ."the name of of your villainess didn't work for me" and tackle those first.
Then I go through page by page with the notes next to me, and tackle each section at a time.
I try to get myself through a chapter or two a day, but sometimes I get in a paragraph or two and stop. It depends on how tough the revision work is during that part.
Best of wishes with your revisions!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Hi Jenn, thanks for stopping by my blog. It's nice to meet you. (I'm your newest follower.)
I just received a critique from my group as well. I look at each one individually, decide which suggestions I agree with, which ones I definitely want to incorporate and which ones I still have to mull over. Then I go through the MS a separate time for each critique.
Wishing you all the best!

T. Drecker said...

I love revisions, but I don't jump right into them, and I don't do them all at once. Usually, I start with the easy things: comma, words changes, grammar problems. I read through the other comments again while doing this, but don't touch them yet. When the 'easy' ones are done, I go back and fix the rest - starting with the smaller problems, letting the larger ones sit and stew in my head for a bit.

David P. King said...

Awesome! Sounds like you have a winner in your hands. Polish that baby up and release the hounds, or something like that. :)

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

I am about to begin revision on my 1st WIP. I have notes from CP and beta's on stand by to keep me accountable for pages. Good luck to you, too. It is going to be an interesting ride.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Give it a couple days and then just start at the beginning.
If you trust them, then that is awesome. My critique partners are the best and I trust their suggestions as well.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

@ Victoria, welcome, glad to have you as a new follower!

@ Tina, you're welcome. I enjoyed visiting your blog and will be over again.

@ Irene, I like the idea of a short story. It might help to clear my head.

@ Tyrean, thank you.

@ Ruth, going through the MS separately for each critique would probably reveal a lot.

@ T. Drecker, start small and go large, I like that.

@ David, hahaha! Thanks for the laugh. I need one in the midst of all this.

@ Sydney, good luck to you as well. Maybe I should get some beta readers to keep me accountable.

@ Alex, sound advice, as usual.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I had a great verbal critique on my last book - which then got shelved for a while, but I'm still aiming to go back. My personal preference is to address the large, plot issues then work my way down to smaller parts.

If you work from the beginning to the end, you might find earlier revisions are redundant because large things have altered later one.

I'm going to stop waffling now because I'm confusing myself!

Cherie Reich said...

Good luck!

For me, I often read the comments first and then sit on them for at least a few days. It gives me time to sort through their comments and what will work and how I'm going to implement the changes. Then I start on page one and keep going until the end. :)

Marcia said...

On my last project, I was fortunate enough to get NINE beta readers. I soon realized I didn't know how to organize comments from that many people. I turned to a spreadsheet. I listed comments down the side, and betas' names across the top. A checkmark went in the intersecting square if that beta had made that comment. This showed me at a glance which issues were brought up by the most people.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Jenn. Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. I'm a new follower of yours.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's daunting to sit with a huge stack of ideas for revisions. Just do one chapter at a time.

Ciara said...

Critique partners are the best! They are so valuable to our writing journey. Good luck implementing your CPs notes.

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