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Friday, October 29, 2010

Back into the Revision Cave!

Well folks I'm going back into the dark and damp revision cave again, hopefully to return not too far in the future with a new spectacular version of my ms.

I've got my agent's notes, my red inked ms and some fresh new ideas so I'm hoping this next rewrite will stick.

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Curse of the Potty Mouth

Something came up in my latest revision that had me reflecting on my own life a little. It turns out that my heroine had a bit of a potty mouth and my agent felt that it was making her look a little trashy. She also suggested that by swearing so much I was losing the effect of the words. Taking her suggestions into consideration I cut back on the swearing by a lot and realized that just a sprinkle was all I needed to get the point across. My heroine is still kick ass and hard core but maybe not so crass.

During the revision, and the subsequent cutting back of swear words, I couldn’t help but make connections to my life. You see, I have a terrible potty mouth. I can’t say why or where it comes from (my mum would kill me if she knew just how bad I really am) but get me around my friends and I’m dropping the f-bomb all over the place.

Which is why I think it came through in my writing so much.

I’m a big believer that we give words power and that if you make a big deal about a particular word it becomes more powerful than it probably should be. I also believe that swear words in and of themselves are kind of funny…their role I mean. I suppose most people have connected them with subverting authority or gaining power and I know that many people believe that they are a sign of one’s lack of intelligence.

People consider me to be pretty intelligent. I’m highly educated and in a profession that, for the most part, is respected but I can't stop myself when that office door is closed. Does it make me seem trashy? I don't really know...I also don't really care...maybe because I have so many restrictions in my life - you know, don't swear around the kid, don't swear around the boss, that I just lose control when I get some freedom.

What about you all...potty or pretty mouth?

Thursday, October 7, 2010


As I mentioned in my previous post on my revision process, I’m a fast worker. Really fast. Probably too fast.

Once I have a task in front of me I have to start it and then I have to keep working on it until it’s done. It can be very exhausting because I devote all of my spare time to it. My weekend mornings for an hour, my evenings for two to three hours, whatever I can spare, I give it until the job is done.

When it comes to other things my efficient work habits are an asset, when it comes to writing, not so much.

Because I work so fast I get really caught up in my story. I get so close to it that I stop seeing it as anything but a whole picture. Luckily my agent understands my little problem and points out areas of concern as I’m working.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I discovered a way to trick myself into slowing down a little, at least where editing is concerned. When I’m reading through a chapter I trust my gut to tell me when something isn’t sounding right or if I’ve taken the easy way out and glossed over details in my rush to get to the end. With my last round of editing I actually stopped myself from moving on from a chapter until I was fully satisfied with the way it sounded. Sometimes that meant rereading it several times before I got it just right which was very time consuming but also kept me busy. By the time I was finished with the last round I was really confident that I’d nailed all of the problems. Going through I addressed all of my agent’s comments and concerns and tried to think like her, raise questions like she does and use a critical eye while reading. Overall, I feel that I was extremely successful with this method and plan to use it again on the next project.

My biggest problem now is the down time. I need to get started on something new so that I can use up those newly available hours with something productive.

What are your work habits like? Are you a procrastinator? A workaholic?