It’s been another hectic month here in the La Capra household. We’ve been on the go-go-go. In the past three weeks, I’ve slept in 8 places, had an overnight guest and survived 8 travel days. AND, although I’m wiped, I’ve got a full-scale revision to tackle. I don’t mean a copy edit, I mean a re-write.
Approaching a rewrite is daunting, but do-able. What works for me may not work for you, but here are my suggestions.
Begin by reminding yourself why you loved the story in the first place. All warm and fuzzy now? Good. Now onward! Remember Bill Murray in “What About Bob”? Try his coping strategy: “baby steps” to the end of the revision.
Step #1: Solicit feedback. (Remember seek feedback that resonates. To paraphrase Julia Cameron, true criticism feels like an ah-ha-that’s-where-I-went-wrong.)
Step #2: Read though your manuscript in a new way. I like to use a text-to-speech program to convert the text to mp3 and then listen to the story with a pad of paper and pen in hand.
Step #3: Dive Into the Trenches & Ruthlessly Cut.
A re-write/revision is daunting. It should be. Blood, sweat and nights of anxious tapping go into every manuscript. However, in the end it’s just a story. Every story will need some tending and pruning before it reaches full blossom.
Now, I’m off to tackle this revision….