The MTV Books Blog will close on October 31. Follow us to our new home at YA Outside the Lines on November 1!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Revision Time"

Recently, I received my revision notes on INVISIBLE TOUCH from my editor, and I was relieved there wasn't anything too major. Much of it was beefing the story up--feelings, sensations, and experiences. You know, that fine gloss to hopefully make your book shine.

So I have my trusty highlighter and pen for notes, and I'm checking off line edits off as I go. While writing the first draft, I had a boatload of story lines. Some very small, some major. I didn't want to drop any of them. Here's my drastic attempt of keeping track of them all. Unfortunately, I still dropped one small one!

IT plot board

Now with the revise, my first step is to go through and fix the small edits, then as I go through again, I'll add scenes that will strengthen threads. Then through again to add more gloss and description, then... LOL! So many layers.

Care to share your revising technique?


TinaFerraro said...

Man, Kelly, are you organized and thorough! I am impressed!

My process is more single-focussed. I take one thread at a time and rework it in entirety, usually starting with the easiest things and advancing to the most difficult, when (arguably) I am most familiar with the story. So far, this has worked for me.

But next time, I may work with a cool chart, too!

Kelly Parra said...

haha, thanks, Tina! The thing is I still missed something with this detailed chart. :) :)

Alex McAulay said...

eeks, yeah revisions can get really tiring, i find. the most fun for me is generating the raw material (although it is pretty cool to see the book come into shape over time).

jennifer echols said...

I guess I'm the opposite of Alex--writing takes a lot out of me, but I actually look forward to revisions. There wasn't much to do for my first two books. I'm afraid I may change my mind when I get the revision letter for the new one...

taltebrando said...

Post-its. Post-its. Post-its. I flag the life out of the manuscript and then go back and tackle the easiest ones first until I'm left with the really annoying things, like timeline issues, outright awful paragraphs, that kind of thing. But I might have to rethink my process. Because I love a good chart when I see one!


Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Colored highlighters and notecards. I have notecards for my characters with things like their eye and hair colors, birth dates (I have exact dates of course because all my characters need appropriate astrological signs), catch phrases or gestures. Then I have a whole color coding system for particular threads or habits I need to pay attention to. And with IWBYJR I had a whole timeline because Louisa, the mom character, is on the road and she moves to a new place every year and keeping track of her history is just crazy.
Oh and I love revising best too! Even though I am currently procrastinating revising my next book because I am not under contract, but really really want my current editor to buy it so it makes me extra nervous!

Kelly Parra said...

Alex, I think I like the blank slate to write new material rather than revising too! I like to stretch my creative wings! haha.
Jenn, I agree! I get really burned out writing, especially closest to deadline when I'm rushing to the finish line.

Kelly Parra said...

haha, Tara! Yes, I've considered the post-its, and even index cards, but I had so much to keep track of the cards were confusing me!
Stephanie, your system sounds great and I very organized! I need those kind of techniques!