Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Housekeeping?


I’m back to work this month, Cozies! And with this new surge of second trimester energy comes a big desire to organize. The hub and I always seem to do our spring cleaning late…but better late than never, right? The final week of May, we donated a truck-full of household and yard items to the Salvation Army to make room for the baby things that will soon be spread around the nursery as well as much of the house. I was so eager to part with some of my clutter, I even went through my shelves and boxes of books and managed to part with two boxes full of paperbacks. It did hurt some, but I just love the possibility of free space.


And an office without clutter has turned out to be a fresh start for me and the muse. This week we hit the ground running on final revision. At this rate, it will be finished and mailed off to the agent by July, just in time for one last family vacation for the year. (I’ll be grounded here close to home base for much of the fall months as per doctor’s orders.) To make room for a bedside bassinet, my bookshelves have been moved into the office…where they look lovely. This opened the office space up, too, because the craft table that was on that wall previously is now in the garage. We also parted with the derelict desktop that has been collecting dust on the desk facing the window, my favorite spot. It feels like a much more productive environment. In fact, yesterday I revised three chapters before getting online. Today, I’ve completed one of the two character sketches I need to guide me through the middle of this manuscript.


I’m looking forward to the end of this last revision because I feel confident that it is the last. Revision has served me very well in the past. It’s a process I believe strongly in. Most editors do, too, so if you’re a writer and you avoid revision like the plague as I did when I began writing all those years ago, I strongly suggest a regime change. You can still stay true to the story’s original vision if you revise in a way that feels healthy to both you and the text. I know cutting material as we sometimes have to do doesn’t always feel healthy. In truth, it can be like parting with an important limb. But learning how to safely navigate the revision process inherently teaches you what material is necessary and what is not; what will make the writing tauter, the flow of the story smoother.


Enough on revision for now. I’m going to talk more openly soon about how character workshops have helped me create some of the most helpful character sketches and plotting from character. I just wanted to give you readers a little update on my housekeeping progress as well as my latest revision regime. It’s back to work now!

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