Week Two Check-in!

Welcome to the second #wipmadness check-in for May!

It was so great to see all the goals posted here last week, and to see all the progress rolling by. Feel free to add your goal here if you haven’t already–the more, the merrier. 🙂

This week’s topic is revision.  Because even if you’re drafting instead of revising now, we all end up in Revisionland eventually. Right? *blinks*

I’ve posted before about applying the principles of Agile (as in software development) to outlining: https://kiperoo.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/outlining-using-agile/

But I’m pretty sure that Agile is just as useful an approach for revision in general.  As a quick recap, the principles of Agile are:

  • release often = find good critique partners and share often
  • hold daily scrums = work on WIP every day
  • respond to change = listen to feedback and use it not only to strengthen WIP but also to grow as a writer

How many revisions do you typically do on your WIP? ( not including requested agent and editor revisions) What are your favorite revision methods and processes? One last question for fun. What do you prefer: drafting or revising?

Best of luck in your #wipmadness goals this week, wherever you happen to be in your WIP!

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15 responses to “Week Two Check-in!

  1. Late to the party! My goals are:

    Finish ‘Doll’ short script (probably about 15 pages, currently at 6)

    Finish ‘Glitch’ episode 1 script (probably about 59 pages, currently at 35 that need heavy edits after a much needed restructure)

  2. I use beta readers and revise according to the suggestions that resonate. Method? I make changes electronically, then print the MS and go through it with a red pen. Finally, I read it out loud with red pen in hand again.

    How many revisions? Not including agent revisions, I revised my last manuscript at least ten times over a period of three years.

    My reward for drafting a novel is the joy of revising it 🙂 Definitely prefer revising.

    Last week I decided to scrap 35,000 words and start all over with my WIP because I realized I couldn’t draft historical fiction by the seat of my pants, the way I do with contemporary fiction. I’d made a total mess of the story and realized I needed a concrete outline and a timeline, not just the one in my head.

    The 35,000 words weren’t a waste. They helped me know my characters, the voice, the structure, and where the story starts. I’ve spent the past week doing research, working on the outline, and fleshing out my character’s core motivations.

    I’m not ready to start drafting yet, but I’m getting close. The excitement for the story is building inside again, something I’d lost as I got tangled up in my own web of loose threads.

    Hope you all have a joyful writing week!

    • Ahhhh, ten times makes me feel like I am in the right ballpark. *sits down and enjoys the view*

      I am seriously impressed with your decision to throw out 35K words, but it makes total sense from what you say. The other ms I started drafting in March is also historical fiction, and I think the 20K I did will meet a similar fate, but I likewise found it necessary to do. I’m looking forward to digging back in to the research and outlining after I finish my current WIP. And I’m so excited for you that you are getting close to beginning yours again!

  3. Happy Monday!

    I’ve polished one ms and sent it off to my agent. So it’s back to the WIP, where I’ve added 1K.

    As for revising, I usually do three rounds before sending it to my agent. 1) Structural, making sure the plot progresses logically and at the right pace, 2) Telling details/setting/dialog, basically fleshing stuff out, and 3) Polishing.

    • Three rounds sounds like a great goal to shoot for when agented and ready for it. Good to know! So happy for you that you got your ms sent off!

  4. I also do about 3 rounds before sending to my agent. Before I had an agent I did at least ten rounds before querying any particular manuscript.

    My last week was pretty pathetic writing-wise, but I needed a break and I’m back and ready to work this week. I’d like to get through revising my three chapters and synopsis for a proposal I’m working on. I’m also expecting notes from my editor this week, which will keep me very busy when they come.

  5. Glad you got a good break, Denise! Sounds like you’ve got a busy week ahead, so good vibes to you! *woosha-woosha*

    Thanks for helping with this non-scientific revision poll. It’s nice to see the results aren’t too far off from what I’d suspected. 🙂

  6. Drafting – I definitely prefer drafting. It is a total rush, if I have a good outline and know where I’m headed (feeling that 35K pain Angelina Hanson – though you are incredibly stoic and positive about it) to learn my characters and become their friend.

    As for revising – I
    1st – I have my first line of defense reader who is willing to read my “edit as I go” first round.
    2nd – Revise to her suggestions, and they usually are dead on.
    3rd – Crit group (6 in group – usually I get 3 or 4 feedback sets) – revise as feels right (especially commas!)
    4th – Find a reader or two or three for large chunks or full.
    5th – Read back through on own, listening to inner voice that says “nuh uh”.

    So I guess depending on how many I get for #3 and #4, 10 is about my ball park figure as well. I am always amazed at how new people can find new stuff.

    As for WIP madness – I spent the weekend with chapter 1 – it has now been completely rewritten, moved, shuffled, for the 4th time and I feel very close. Doing little tweaky stuff further into the novel.

    Great week all! Oh, I got a new job. I’ll be a high school art teacher next year instead of an elem. art teacher. Yay!

  7. No one gets to read anything before the second or third draft. Because it’s not in readable condition until then. 😉

    I prefer revising not just because it goes faster but because it’s when a story tells you what it’s really about. You get to connect all the dots and find all the clues you’d been leaving yourself during drafting.

    Progress last week:

    409 words written for one thing.

    814 words written on something else.

    My goal this week is to write more than that.

    • Haha, awesome. Love those “more than” goals.

      That is awesome that you can keep it to yourself for two or three drafts. I’m sure people get to see something tasty at that point. 🙂

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