April 5, 2011

Revision and Distraction

It's been a month since I last posted about the revision I'm doing, and lately this blog has been a lot more reading than writing and revising. I assure you that I am still revising, though what with this and that and cons and taxes and visitors and sunshine and procrastination, I didn't make as much progress in March as I might have without distractions.

This month promises to have its own share of distractions. Let's be honest: so does every month. And let's be really honest: I do have an unfortunate tendency to allow distractions to keep me from writing for longer than they warrant. For example, say on Tuesday I legitimately need to take the day off from writing to do a Thing. I'll convince myself that on Monday I need to spend time preparing for the Thing, and anyway it's not that productive to get back into the story after the weekend just for one day, so I'd better take Monday off. And then on Wednesday I'll need time to catch up on other stuff and recover from the (not-at-all-arduous) Thing, so I don't get around to writing. And now the week is shot, so maybe I'll just finish reading that book and start fresh with writing on Monday.

This is, of course, an example of hyperbole and not in any way an accurate portrayal of my life. Not in any way.

And speaking of distraction, this isn't even what this post was supposed to be about. What I wanted to say is that the revision is coming along. To my great relief, I've discovered that I wasn't being delusional in thinking my rate of progress would pick up after the first chapter. I've now settled into a revision speed that I can live with, and I can count my daily progress in pages rather than paragraphs.

The storyline I'm working on is changing more significantly than the other two, which is one of several reasons that I wanted to do it first. This means I'm doing a lot of new writing of scenes that didn't exist before or are very different than in the last draft, but there are also big chunks that are staying relatively intact. So I really am revising, not writing the whole novel from scratch again. Phew!

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Derek Sivers reproduces the charts from a Kurt Vonnegut lecture comparing fictional story arcs to real life: "People have been hearing fantastic stories since time began. The problem is, they think life is supposed to be like the stories." (Thanks, GalleyCat!)

→ MobyLives discusses a new paperback format being touted as the cutting edge of analog books. (Thanks, Conversational Reading!)

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