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Frustrations with revising
Linnea Ren
Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2014 4:23 AM
Hello all! It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because I've gone on a major revision kick. I do that sometimes. The First Nine, the book I have up, is one of said books that I'm revising. However, it's come to my attention that this draft in particular is difficult because I've nixed a relationship and added a new main character. Both of those things are not exactly easy to handle. It's been hard, and I'm currently stuck on one of my chapters, but I'm slowly plugging through.
Anyone have anything they do when they get stuck on revisions? 

Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:40 AM
Joined: 1/13/2014
Posts: 17

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. 

Mimi Speike
Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 1:34 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014

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--

Steve Yudewitz
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 9:32 PM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 24

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.



LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:36 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662

I pretty much do what most people do here; get away from it. I work on other writing, maybe some note-taking or brainstorming. Sometimes I just work on another section. I use Scrivner for my organization, so I can hop around pretty easily. I also read a lot. I find reading helps me clear my mind and get up the courage to go back to tearing my work apart.
Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014 11:38 PM
Joined: 7/18/2014
Posts: 120

Rewriting and revising is when the writing becomes fun for me. I've always said that I'm not a writer, I'm a rewriter. I enjoy having the story finished and then getting into it to fix the many things wrong, from grammar to spelling to punctuation to redoing entire pages or even chapters. The important part, getting from the beginning to the end is done.
Lucy Silag - Book Country Director
Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 3:40 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359

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?

Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2015 6:44 AM
Joined: 6/10/2015
Posts: 26

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!