Workout Song of the Day: "Drop the World" by Lil Wayne ftg. Eminem
I'll be the first to admit it--I'm not a fan of criticism. Neither giving it or receiving it. In workshops, even when I know that someone's writing isn't exactly up to par, I'll sugarcoat it with the most random compliments. I love the main character's name. That one line was really funny!
And when I receive something outside of adulation in my own writing, I may react a little like this...
I'm completely distraught. I wave my fists at the world. Then I drop the story and move on to something else.
If you haven't noticed, I've been a little (okay, a lot) absent from my blog. That's because I've been a.) working on the first draft of my thesis paper, and b.) finally completing my first novel! We interrupt this post for a brief booty-shaking dance:
- Find beta readers besides my cousin. Don't get me wrong, I heart my cousin, and she gives me the morale boost I need to not just toss away this crazy notion of becoming a published writer. But we're practically the same person. And if you've encountered either of us, that's pretty scary. So I need maybe two or three others that can give me a fresh perspective on my novel. I plan on visiting the Absolute Write Water Cooler and Verla Kay Blue Boards to put in my requests. And if you haven't by now, check out both of these sites--they're on my sidebar!
- Put my manuscript away. For a while. Maybe even for a month or two. This story is very personal to me, and I love all my characters. But it's kind of like spending time with your family--you need to see them in small doses or you'll get a little irritated. I don't want my frustration to steer my story in the wrong direction.
- Read all the input from my beta readers. Then,
- Work on the major suggestions first. Does a character need to be changed? Does a side-plot not work? I know it seems crazy to tackle the huge issues first, but this is how I always did homework. I got history out of the way (boo! hiss!), and then rewarded myself with English.
- Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
I know that this process seems lengthy, but if I want to be serious about the writing business, I definitely need to be serious about revising. What about you all? What's your revising process? What works and what doesn't work? I need all the help I can get!