Current work: second revisions on the Venice book
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: Susanna Kearsley, Sophia’s Secret (finished yesterday and it’s brilliant – couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened next)
Righty. So, the email you don’t want to see from your editor hits your inbox: second revisions.
And you suck it up and deal with it, like the professional you are. There will be moaning and groaning and whining beforehand (thank you to those who put up with it on Friday/over the weekend and sent me lovely messages of support) and there will be much consumption of chocolate, but at the end of the day you do have to deal with it. (Dear crows: please bugger off, because I really don’t have time to indulge you this week.)
Normally, with revisions, I work straight to screen in a single document. I go through my editor’s notes, then do myself a table showing what the book looks like now and what I’m going to need to remove/add/shift round so I know what the new shape looks like (i.e. what I’m doing and where), and when I start writing I work in ‘track changes’ so I can see exactly what I’ve taken out and put in, plus I can make notes to myself all over the place and colour them in. (This is because I am a nerdy planner – though it doesn’t work for everyone, so please don’t take this as a “you MUST do it this way”. If you find some of this useful, great; if you don’t, then try something different because it might work better for you. Oh, and you can’t do this on an iPad, because it only lets you have one file open at a time and it doesn’t do track changes or highlighting (dear Apple, your target market is just not having its needs met), so this is a desktop job.)
This time, I’m taking a different approach. I don’t have to move things, exactly, though I will be cutting the last little bits I kept in from the first version, cough. (That’ll teach me. Next time I get a rewrite, I’ll start with a completely blank document and not try to save anything.) What I need to do is tighten things and show emotions happening on the page. I know what’s happening, in my head, but my readers don’t have access to my thoughts. They just get the pages. Which isn’t the same thing at all. And I need to show it more on the page. To me, this feels terribly heavy-handed, but as I’ve clearly gone too far the other way for now, heavy-handed it has to be. So, instead of doing it all on screen, I’m doing it the old-fashioned way: I’ve printed it out (single spaced and in ‘fastdraft’ print, so as to waste as little paper and ink as possible) and using a pen to make changes. Hopefully, this time, I will crack it. Two phrases to bear in mind for this round: “increase tension” and “on the page”.
Anyway. I’ve cancelled guitar this week and I only have one meeting at school (and please let me not have a bad visit to Dad this week), so I should be able to get this sorted before I go to London on Friday. It’s a matter of gritting my teeth and getting on with it. (Helped by lovely DH keeping me in chocolate all weekend.)
And I bought myself a new toy on Saturday. One of my writing mates swears by the 3-axis type of pedometer because you don’t have to clip it to a belt; you can wear it on a lanyard or stick it in your handbag, even. Had a chat with the girl in the sports shop and she was really helpful. I tried walking down the road, counting my steps, and then checking the display, and WOW! Absolutely accurate. Considering that the last six I bought (cheapies) stopped working after a week, were too sensitive (or not sensitive enough), could be reset to zero very easily by accident, or the clip broke… This is exactly what I wanted. Should also be the kick up the backside I need to get a proper amount of exercise (ha, says the writer who ain’t intending to move from the dining room table except for school runs, laundry and cooking dinner until the second revs are D.O.N.E.) and start getting my weight back under control.
Men with long hair? Ah. That’s my Pink Heart Society post today. I dare you to look and find not a single one of them gorgeous :o) Go and have a look and tell me who’s your fave.