Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Revising... and Revising... and Revising!!!

I've been busy revising a manuscript these past few weeks. It is a manuscript that I have revised many times before. Each time I see it getting sharper, better, funnier (at least, I hope it is). But it still amazes me how many times I can revise a manuscript that now (thank goodness!) weighs in at less than 500 words.

Characters can be cut. Storylines and wording can be simplified. Humor can be added (or at least I can try to). I'm sure there are more things I've worked at, but these are some of the most recent. It's overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.

Hopefully the new manuscript that emerges will be better than what came before. Right now I'm so immersed in the process I can't quite tell how it's going to end up. The excitement of being a picture book writer!

So how does your revision process go? Does it feel crazy too?


  1. Congratulations on getting your picture book revised and the word count decreased. Once, I had an editor critique one of my PB manuscripts. She suggested I add some things, but in the same breath suggested I cut my word count. She laughed at her conflicting words.

    You have accomplished something. Good for you! Will you get it read by your critique group before sending it off? Best of luck to you.

    Linda A.

  2. I just finished a first draft of a new YA and part of me is doing the happy dance...momentarily. I love the revision process even though at times it can be challenging, especially when I feel like I'm getting a point across and yet it's still unclear to my readers. That's when it gets frustrating for me! Otherwise it is exciting putting a polish on it.

    And WOW under 500 words... Excellent! Picture books are so challenging. Go Brianna!

  3. I love revision. I love plugging holes and pulling threads. And cutting. And smoothing. But it doesn't always go smoothly. Sometimes there are lots of bumps.

  4. I think revising a PB is harder than revision of a novel because of the strict word limit.

    Pretty sure novelists won't agree, but . . .

  5. Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Linda-- Critiques like that are wonderful, aren't they? So challenging to implement!

    Right now my critique group is busy reading a new picture book manuscript mine. (And I am really looking forward to hearing their opinions! :o) )

    Robin-- So cool that you've finished a first draft of a new YA. Your new critique group is so lucky to get to read it! Good luck with your revisions!

    J.A.-- I definitely understand about the bumps in revision! Wow has this manuscript of mine traveled a bumpy road! (Hopefully I reach some smooth pavement soon!)

    Gale-- I can't compare because I've never revised a novel. Both sound pretty challenging to me-- in completely different ways.

  6. I'm NOT an author who enjoys revising. I blogged about the same topic today, in fact. I never think anything will change for the better, but when necessary, I cross my fingers and revise, and incredibly - it does get better! When Highlights asked me to cut my 777 word story to 500 words, I wondered why they didn't just send somebody over to stab me in the heart. I took a deep breath, said goodbye to the dad and one of the friends in the story, and went on from there. A few days later, bam - 499 words, and ME in Highlights! Awesome!