Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Write On Wednesday: Revisions and Procrastination

It has come to my attention that my manuscript may have too many words for a YA novel. Why this never crossed my mind before, I’m not sure. Probably because I originally intended for this book to be an Adult novel, and then changed my mind once I was done. My main character felt a little too innocent for the 21-year-old I was trying to make her be. She was resisting. So she ended up being 18 and it feels a lot better.

Problem is, now she’s a Young Adult. And Young Adults don’t often read 130,000 words in a novel. More like 60-90k. So I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 THOUSAND words I need to revise out of my MS.

So my question to the blogosphere is how do you find the motivation???

I have a lot on my plate right now, but every night when my daughter goes to bed, I have ample time to revise and tweak and improve.

But instead I blog. Or play the Sims. Or scrapbook. Or clean…okay maybe not clean. But I WOULD if my only choices were to revise my MS or to clean. That’s what I’m saying. I’m becoming a professional procrastinator.


(this made me laugh)

I did read this GREAT post over at this blog I just found by Julie Musil, and it helped a lot. It reminded me that this piece deserves to be the best it can possibly be, and that if I ever hope to get it out there, it’s got to be polished and ready to print. (Thanks Julie, hope you don’t mind me sharing!)

So other than that, what motivates you to jump back in and revise the crap out of your MS?


  1. Aww, Kadie, this is so hard. I don't know where my motivation comes from. Mostly, I think, from being obsessed with writing and the story and getting to a point where I'm happy with the story. It's hard to cut things out. Really hard. My novel Monarch was 102,000 words the first go-round. One full rewrite later - and many, many countless revisions and several edits with my editor, and it's 74,000 or something. I can't remember exactly. Not even 80k. That's incredibly short for a thriller. It should be longer, but that's just what worked for that story, and that's that. You can make the argument the other way around, but I tend to like brevity more than wordiness. In the end, you have to do what's right for the book and what you think would be best for trying to sell it in today's market. Rhemalda was good about choosing a size and layout for Monarch that gave it a good size despite its shorter length. Totally worked. :)

    Getting back to motivation, I have to say that if you're getting sidetracked by other things, you need to really lock down and get serious about the revisions. It's so easy to let all the outside things of writing affect the actual writing. You might be procrastinating because you're scared to cut stuff. If that's the case, just put all that you cut in another document instead of just deleting it. Remember, if it doesn't move the story forward, it probably doesn't need to be there.

  2. Kadie, thanks for the mention! I know how it feels to have a pile of words that we need to make pretty. Today I just started doing a "story ladder," where I review each scene, write a one line summary of it, and determine whether or not it's necessary. I'm hoping that helps me in the end!

    Good luck with your revision. It'll get there!

  3. I have the opposite problem with my WIP. I'm fearing that it's going to be too short.

    When I finished the first draft it stood at 50,006 words. I've cut about 2,500 words so far. 0-0


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