Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Killing Time Between Revisions...Productively

Although my normal inclination upon finishing first round edits is to lock my manuscript away and spend two weeks scarfing crunchy cheetos in front of the boob tube, 

I decided to limit the above activity to one day only.  As I log in the initial changes- I’m already looking forward to different ways of killing time that will benefit my manuscript in the long run. 

First, I asked a couple people who I think would give helpful feedback on the plot, pacing and characterization to have a read of my MS when I'm through logging edits.   I know myself pretty well.  And even though it's early in the revision process, I know that no matter how many times I read through my MS and how much time I let accumulate between reads - I always get wrapped up in the story and have trouble seeing it with a critical eye.  Sending it off to readers not only makes me stay away from the damn thing while awaiting feedback- but it will give me critical points to keep in mind when I do go back and read.

In the meantime, there are a few things I can do to keep busy and help out my MS.  Today I’m going to focus on just one.

1-  Constructing a query letter.
 
Working on your query letter is a great productive way to kill time between revisions.  I started a first draft of my query when I began writing my ms and then went back and changed it as the story progressed.  There are some great tips for writing a query letter here, on Elana Johnson’s blog

This week Matt from the Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment has agreed to use my query as an example for critique on his blog and hopefully make it sparkle and shine for when querying time comes.  You can check out the query for FOSSEGRIM here and I appreciate any and all feedback! (thanks Matt!) 

What are some of your productive ways to kill time between revisions?

23 comments:

Renae said...

I just love your ideas of killing time! I sneak in a book then work on another ms or edits to another ms. Not very exciting I know!

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Great post! I <3 Matt's blog. I'll be sure to hop over and look at it. I basically do the same thing. My crit group rotates every month, so when they have my manuscript I try to work on my query or synopsis, or critique work for someone else. Sometimes critiquing someone else's work helps me see what I might need to fix in my own.

Justine Dell said...

If I need a breaks from something, I normally write. And then I get sucked into that and forget about the revisions. LoL.

I'm like you, though--I always seem to be too close to my story to see all the things I need to see.

K--now I'm off to check out that query!

~JD

Carolyn V. said...

Good question. Do the laundry--okay that would be for me, because my laundry is a mile high! =)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I tend to read other books between edits. I also start writing my synopsis, query etc. I also start work on a new wip so I'm not thinking too much while my CP have my MS. lol.

Saumya said...

Haha,I want to eat cheetos all day every day. When I'm in between edits, I try to make myself do non writing related things for most of the day and then spend an alloted time every day on query letters and a synopsis.

Old Kitty said...

Oh good luck with your querying!! As I'm scrolling up my blogger dashboard, I see Matt's blog as next in line for me to read - so I can't wait to go there!

How am I killing time between revisions? ER.... by blogging!
LOL! And baking!

take care
x

LTM said...

I'm running over to check it out! In the meantime, take a card house break... I left you something on my blog! Go see~ ;p <3

Colene Murphy said...

You novel sounds crazy good! I can't wait to see what Matt has to say.

This post is at a good time, as I sent my MS to a few people for the exact same reason. I can't fix it anymore than I have because I can't separate myself.

In my killing time I have thought about working on my query and will probably do just that as per your recommendation. I guess. Eating banana cream pudding and stalking blogs isn't productive? Also a synopsis. But Synopsis and I hate each other with a firey passion so...we'll see.

Candyland said...

Listen to New Medicine...but you knew that already!!!

Dominique said...

In between revisions, I've often just made notes about all the things I needed to change for the next version, and affixed said notes to the MS.

In between revisions for my current project, I'll be writing character bios so that I can figure them out for my Massive Changes.

The in between changes for every work.

Jennie Bailey said...

I read books like "Hooked" and "On Writing", read articles about POV, just generally things that I knew I was struggling with that might help when I picked it back up again.

I have to admit to briefly chasing a shiny new idea as well to get it out of my head and onto the paper. But I stopped there and came back to the rewrites!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Saw your query over at Matt's blog, and I can't wait to give you feedback tomorrow on it.

The best way to keep on being productive in writing between revisions is to keep on writing.

Stephen Tremp said...

Just came back from Matthew's blog and left a question for you. I kill time between revisions by writing my next two books. And I sleep. Sometimes I vacuum or load the dishwasher. I also fold laundry. That's important. Can't get behind on the whites.

Stephen Tremp

Suzanne Casamento said...

YAY you! Congratulations on completing your draft.

I read and re-read while others are reading the same draft. And I walk a lot. Walking helps me with the story.

Good luck querying!

Shannon said...

Does drinking copious amounts of wine count as a productive activity? =)

When that fails, I work on the query, the dreaded synopsis, and the next story rattling around in my head.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've already visited Matthew's site - story sounds intriguing!

I kill time with computer games - kiling aliens, zombies, orcs, demons - you name it!

Jen Daiker said...

I need to follow your advice and others... I need time to kill in between revisions... seriously I'm nuts during that time, glad I'm not the only one.

Melissa said...

...... SO, I pretty much suck because I STILL haven't finished my MS. But I can understand and sympathize. I think letting others read it, even if its early will help. I'm horrible at catching things in my own writing and I think I'd need other people to point some things out before I could distance myself enough to be at least somewhat objective

Kelly Dexter said...

Productive ways? Ha. I have things I tend to gravitate towards, but their value of their productivity tends to vary.

Good luck with your query!

Slamdunk said...

Cheetos and orange fingers sound like a winner to me. On the way over to check out your letter.

Talei said...

Good luck with the querying!!!

I have an award for you at my blog, do come by to pick up when you can. ;)

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

read! read! read! I offer to Beta for someone else and I catch up on my reading list. I always work on my query way before the MS is final so I have a nice jumpstart on it.

Good luck! they're always fun!

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