Thursday, May 28, 2009

I realize my blogging and commenting on your blogs has been a complete and total washout this week. Apologies passed out all around. Cookies too. Dark fudge and chunky chocolate chip. Mmmm. As you know my son is having tests done on his central nervous system with at least one more, probably many more scheduled. Please remember him, I will totally be in your debt! Now on to other things. I have been so absent minded lately, I can't remember if I announced the winner of my contest. Jessica Kennedy congratulations. Stay tuned, I'll be having another contest soon.

I know some of you are members of SCBWI and receive the Bulletin. The May/June issue has this Fantastic article in it called, Shut Up and Deal. It is written by David Goldschmidt. To summarize it is a Fantastic large scale revision technique. Why can't I ever think of this stuff? After your draft on your novel is completed, you step back and take a look at your work. Focus on flow,logic, continuity, relevance, and importance by chunking up your manuscript. A chunk is a group of chapters, a single chapter, a group of scenes, a single scene. Whatever you decide you want to go with. I'm doing single chapter. Look at these chunks as vital pieces of your story. Answer questions like,"What next?" "Why is it important?" Then you write one sentence that sums up the chunk. And it has to be a normal sentence. No run-ons, or semicolons are allowed. You write the sentence on an index card. Lay each card out and read them aloud. You will notice stuff you didn't notice before. Put a big red X on the cards where the sentence you read seems it doesn't belong in your story. You know that it has to come out. If it doesn't move your story, out it goes. I know it's hard to cut those lovely words you wrote, but it must be done. I always think every word I write is just so wonderful. But really, I hit the backspace key and then they are gone. The cards with the x are in the pile to be thrown out, for good. Read each card over and over, you can rewrite the sentences, too. By doing this, you notice the junk and you keep the story. The story you want to tell.

This is working for yours truly. Try it and see what you think. Anyone else have any great revision tricks, you'd like to share? Thanks for reading. :)

24 comments:

  1. That's a great revision tip.

    And I hope everything works out for your son. I'll definitely keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOL! I was JUST about to write a post on that article! It's the first one I read yesterday, too!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Christine, thanks for the prayers. We need them. ;)

    Beth, wasn't it great? I'm going for it.:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh - I do this! And then I post each sentence on a sticky post it and line them up on the wall. Then I go back and read for continuity. great suggestion-- I got the newsletter, but alas it still sits on the counter.

    And - many, many prayers going out to you and your family today *hug*

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tess, thanks so much. We need the prayers and I needed the hug...badly! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I will surely pray for your family! I hope things go well. That is a good article. It's a good thing that I'm not a journalist because my favorite revision tool is to step back. I like to put what I write away for a period of time and then begin editing. The longer the prose, the more time it needs to ferment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the article mention. I just got my copy but haven't read it yet. And I love the idea of being smarter about how I do revisions.
    Yes, I am thinking of you and your son!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the award, Miss Robyn! I am honored, and blushing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post and good luck with your son. I'll be thinking about him. And thanks for the blog award!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amy, thanks so much for the prayers. It is a good article. I loved reading it and then thinking, Hey I can do this. :)

    P.J., Glad to have ya back. Thanks for the thoughts. I just wish it was over with and he was back to his old self.:)

    Amy, you're welcome. I love your blog and want others to find out about it, too.:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. BJ, Thanks for the thoughts about my guy.:) You're welcome, y'all have such inspiring blogs. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wish you son all the best, and am praying for him too. Thanks for the award! (L) Mmmm, cookies!

    My word verification is: moths. Hee!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Moths because the old blog was sitting so long without me. LOL. Thanks for your prayers. You'll never know how much they mean. Liyana, your blog is great! Cookies all around girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. My prayers go out to your son, Robyn. I wish him a speedy recovery, God willing. You are a strong woman! Here's a *hug*! Thank you so much for this post! I never thought of doing this, but it seems to work for many of you. So I'm going to apply this technique to my manuscript & see what happens. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Crystal, thanks so much for your prayers. And for the much needed hug. Please do try this techniqu. It is very helpful in getting rid of all those words you don't need. Thanks for being there! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your son is in my thoughts, Robyn. Please let me know if you need anything. ((HUGS))

    That's great revision advice. I'm doing this in my outline right now instead of on index cards. The index cards might work better.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great ideas.

    *hugs and prayers for your son*

    ReplyDelete
  18. *sneaks back in*

    Thanks for the award, Robyn! The great things about these is every time you look at them, you remember the friends who gave them to you. :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. Glam, thanks for thinking of my son. I appreciate you saying that. If I need a cyber shoulder, I'll call on you, girl.

    It seems to work better if you can lay out all of the cards and actually see the sentences. Instead of in an outline. :)

    Danyelle, thanks for the hugs and prayers. *SNIFF* I just love my writerly friends. And you're welcome for the award. You're right, you do remember those friends that gave them to you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. More hugs and prayers across the miles!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Buttercup, keep 'em coming. I love those hugs! :)The prayers are what keeps us going. Thanks so much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is excellent advice. Thanks for sharing - I'm nearing completion of my next novel first draft and will definitely try chunking it. :)

    Love your blog. Thanks for the visit to and follow of Free Spirit. I'll be back.

    The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

    ReplyDelete
  23. Marvin, I love your blog. Thank you for visiting. Come back soon. :)

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a note! :)