New year, new goals and new you right?
This is the year I say no to all that.
It seems kind of funny doesn’t it? The fact that I am usually the one who start with the rhetoric of little or no resolutions.
I usually don’t have them for my writing publicly but secretly, I do. I aim to finish a book or a story or to publish. But that hasn’t helped with my goals at all. In fact, it’s perpetuated a problem I’ve suspected I’ve had for a long time.
I confess, I’m a serial manuscripter.
This is a thing, folks. It is a thing because I am sitting here in front of you tell you this: I have no less than THREE manuscripts in my possession right now. Yes, three.
I finished the first one in February 2008. It’s a horrible piece of garbage.
I finished my second one as my thesis for my MFA program. I loved it when I was working on it. Love it still.
I finished my last manuscript two years ago for NaNoWriMo. I actually completed the thing — beginning, middle, end. No filler. No nothing. The hard way.
I’m just about finished with my latest manuscript, the first Jennie Manning novel.
Okay, so I lied. It’s four. I have about four manuscripts and not one have been through the revision process with any consistency. Why?
I’m not sure I know how to revise a manuscript into a novel.
Yes, me with this fancy MFA and all these years of writing. My revision process sucks.
Here’s what I know — I revise the big stuff first, plot holes, character inconsistencies, etc., until it’s right. Then it’s the word tweaking — diction, tone, figurative language — that is if you haven’t done it already. Then it’s the smaller stuff, the stuff that makes my eyes bleed — grammar, mechanics, etc.
Maybe it’s my journalism kicking in but once I’m done with a manuscript, I’m done. I really don’t want to revisit it. Or maybe I’m lazy or maybe I just like the creative side or maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing. Whatever it is, it has to stop.
So, my non-resolution/resolution is to finally learn to revise and to do it properly.
Now, here’s the second part of this thought. How do I do this? Anyone have any ideas?