Frustrations with revising
If I'm stuck on something, I'll either set it aside for a while, or move on to another section and keep working and come back to the stuck part at a later time when I'm not feeling so burned out on it.
Other than that, maybe getting someone else to look at it for you with a fresh set of eyes, to give you ideas and feedback, on what you might be missing.
When I am having trouble making decisions, as I am now, I do research on the next book (I have a three-part series). Slowly, I exclude the suggestions I've received that I'm not willing to act on. And hope to see the light with matters that I agree need to be tinkered with, to reach a compromise that addresses the problem and still pleases me. *sigh* It's so easy to talk about your problems and so hard to fix them.
I try to distance myself from the story but I've lived with it for so long, I know it so well, that a break, even a lengthy break, gives no improved objectivity. New input, new eyes? I believe I've heard the range of issues that a reader is likely to object to, and the ball's in my court.
My editor, loving a large part of what I've written, and strenuously objecting to some of my zany choices also, accuses me of essentially saying to readers, I don't care if you like this or not. I'm wrestling with that. She's probably right. But if I dislike a major amount of the work I find on Amazon, it may be inevitable that my taste will fail to beguile many. I need to produce a book that is as good as I can make it, according to my idea of good, what delights me, rather than what might be more marketable.
--edited by Mimi Speike on 7/8/2014, 6:29 PM--
When I get stuck on revision, it usually has to do with one chapter that is giving me fits. What I end up doing is focusing on revisions in another area, all the while keeping the troublesome chapter in the back of my mind. If that doesn't work, I get away from the revision process for an hour. I do something creative, maybe a 15 minute free write, maybe write something from a minor character's point of view. Ususally that does the trick.
I am with Chuck. Revising is the most fun for me. I love chiseling away at what's already been built. It's actually getting the words and ideas down that takes huge concentration and effort for me.
If you've read the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, you know that when Maisie's stuck on a case, she likes to go for a walk. That's been my strategy in the past--having a dog helps! After all, they're always game to go for a walk.
What other strategies do folks use when they are stuck on something they need to problem solve?
Seems like I'm in the majority here! When I get stuck, I set it down and work on something else for awhile. I think you do need to push yourself to revise and keep working at it, but with any creative process, forcing yourself to work on it will either lead to a final product that sounds forced, or will ruin your enjoyment of it and you won't be able to think of creative solutions.
Usually, when I need to change something major, I don't look at the text for a few days. I think "right, so I need this *something* to happen, how does that happen?" and I work backwards from there, always thinking of the craziest ideas that I can. Usually, a good idea will pop into my head at some point. But if I pressure myself to "fix it! fix it NOW!" no way, I'll never sort it out.
Sometimes, if I'm really stuck, I watch a TV show or movie that I like (mostly for a distraction) but also to think about the storytellers did to draw me in. How did they play with the time line to uncover information slowly? Why are the characters/relationships interesting to me? I think it just gets the creative juices flowing and stops me from obsessing over revisions.
Anyway. Hope you get revisions done soon! Good luck!