Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Revising in winter


The good thing about snow preventing me from leaving the house is that I've been working on revisions. I'm sitting in my home office with a view of the gray and white trees outside, writing about a very different time and place. My story is set in Florida, where kids ride bikes on Christmas with nary a mitten in sight.

I've been wondering how you know when your work is good. You know how sometimes you write something and you think it's brilliant, but then you go back and read it later and it isn't? Kind of like when you wake from a dream at 4am and think you've had some kind of genius idea, but in the light of day you realize you were delusional. I hope I'm not delusional. I'm rethinking the beginning again. I never know exactly where a story should begin.

So I've sent the first few pages of my revision to the Slushbusters to read. We postponed our meeting last night. Some of us were still digging out from the big snow of the weekend, and yet another storm hit the east coast late yesterday afternoon. I'm feeling a bit like the Pevensies every time I set foot outside. (Was that a sleigh that just went by? A faun? Maybe I am delusional.) So I guess I'll wait another week to find out if I began in the right place. Meanwhile, it's back to revising!

7 comments:

Tess said...

Winter is good for my writing ... not much else to do. Summer wreaks havoc on my writing .. too much temptation out there.

glad you are able to take advantage of the shut in time and hope the snow gives you guys a break soon.

Brenda said...

London is very moderate...the weather never gets really good or really awful (unless you count endless days of rain as really awful). I'm feeling jealous of the snow on the east coast at the moment, though...would love to be snowbound for a day or so.

Regarding the beginning...I just cut 78 pages from the beginning of my novel after realizing that it was all set up. I'm trying to revise my pitch at the same time as I edit and I came up with a hook for the pitch that happened in chapter 6. So, suddenly the concurrent "Other parts" doc that I keep running beside "Story 1" has 78 additional pages, although I think it's the right decision. Good luck deciding where your novel actually starts and I hope that being in Florida (if only in spirit) keeps you warm!

Michelle said...

Tess, I've visited Utah in summer and in winter, and I can see why you're tempted to be outdoors in the summer. Is being outdoorsy and athletic a prerequisite for living there? It seems like everyone skis, snowboards, mountain bikes, or hikes. At least in winter, your part of the country is better prepared for big snowstorms than they are here.

Brenda, I've also visited Britain at different times of the year. I've wondered if it's nice to live somewhere that rarely has weather extremes. It does rain a lot, doesn't it? I can be jealous of you in July, when it's 98 degrees farenheit here with 95% humidity! And good job cutting your 78 pages of setup. That sounds like it was probably a wise decision.

Sarah said...

Michelle, I've been busy myself, so I haven't looked at next week's submissions yet. I was really excited, though, when I saw you had submitted your NaNo piece!

I've been revising, too, and it's taken forever on this one chapter. I think I've finally figured out what to do. I'm so glad we postponed this week's meeting.

Shelley Sly said...

I just wanted to comment and say that I can so relate to that waking up at 4 am with what I *think* is a great idea from a dream, and later realize it's rubbish. So true.

Yes, I get those feelings about my own work, and very often, too. Beginnings are difficult, and I've recently begun rethinking my own, especially when reading agent/editor blogs about how strong beginnings need to be. Something tells me mine isn't quite up to par.

I wish you good luck in your revising; you're very lucky to have your slushbusters. Glad I found this blog. I'll keep following!

Michelle said...

Thanks, Shelley, and welcome!

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I can totally relate to your moment of brilliance allusion. I thought I was the only one who had those thoughts.

WV was inundated with snow. My back yard looks like one big white blanket. I've used my inside time wisely. Got lots and lots of writing done.