Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #17

Another week brings another tale of endless revisions. Right now I'm working my way through Chapter 9 of 29... so clearly I still have a ways to go.

Other than that I don't really have anything else that is terribly exciting to report about my revisions process. Luckily, Nathan Bransford - the owner of quite possibly the most popular literary agent blog in the galaxy - (Hmm... that sounds hyperbolic or perhaps sarcastic, but honestly his blog really just is that good.) was kind enough to post today on the subject of revisions.

More specifically he posted a checklist of big questions to ask yourself while in the revisions process.

While reading through the list some of them received a definite thumbs up for my MS, some were "Oh yeah, that's a problem I know about and I'm working on it", and others were "Ummm... I don't know. Now you're making me worry about this."

Some of the bigs ones that fell into the latter two categories are:

- Is your voice consistent? Is it overly chatty or sarcastic?
- Is the tense completely consistent? Is the perspective consistent?
- Is there sufficient description that your reader feels grounded in the characters' world?
- Do you know what your writing tics are? Do you overuse adverbs, metaphors, facial expressions, non-"said" dialogue tags, or interjections? Have you removed them?
- Do you overuse certain words or phrases? Is your word choice perfect throughout?

There were other ones on the list that I think deserve my attention as well, but these were the ones that really set my internal alarms off.

That's it for my WIP Wednesday. How has your past week been? And if you've checked out Nathan's list which of his questions sets off your internal alarms the most?

If you want to participate in WIP Wednesday, simply post your own WIP Wednesday entry on your blog and leave a link to it in the comments below. Or if you don't have a blog, feel free to report your progress directly into the comments box.

For more detailed information concerning what all this nonsense is about please consult the original Work in Progress Wednesday posting.

Feel free to also make use of the lovely little WIP Wednesday logo as well!


  1. Hey you're making progress and that's what counts! Sounds like Nathan had a great list! I'll have to go check it out since I'm still editing too!

  2. I liked that blog post by Nathan too. ANd you are much further with revisions than I am. But hey, progress is progress...right?

  3. Oh, good, it sounds like you're making real progress on editing. :)

    Keep it going!

  4. Glad the revisions are getting done, that post from Nathan Bransford came at a great time! His list of questions got me thinking about my own work as I'm writing and will certainly help in revision.

    I'm still plugging away with the first draft. I took a couple of weeks off from the Wednesday update, but I'm back.

  5. I swear I'm going to catch up to your editing. That's my goal. I will, I will. :)

  6. I love your WIP Wednesday's so much, I am starting to do it at my blog as well. Here is the link!:)

  7. That's great you're keeping steady with revisions. A list like Nathan's would send me into a panic that would make me abandon the project and start a new one.

    I like using Word's auto summary to see which words I'm using too much. And, having enough description is always something I need to work on.

  8. Jody - Definitely check out Nathan's list - it gives you a lot to think about no matter where you are in the writing process!

    Christine - I am only further because I started first, but you're right: progress is progress.

    Jennifer - Slow but steady - that's my goal.

    Matt - Glad you're back on the WIP Weds. train!

    Elana - I believe you and Thanks! (random caps are just for you;)

    Chantele - Thanks for joining in the fun! Can't wait to read your entry!

    Annie - Oh! I never though of using Word's auto summary - that is an awesome idea. In fact, I just might go do that right now!

  9. Revisions are killer for me, so it's great to see you're pushing ahead with yours. :) It can be done!

    As for Nathan's list, I definitely have all of the ones you listed as personal "alarms" (the ones that revive the Inner Editor when I actually need him around!) plus these:
    - Is the pacing correct for your genre? Is it consistent?
    - Do each of your scenes make dramatic sense on their own as well as move the overall plot forward?

    Definitely a great list to have in your back pocket.

    And I've got my WIP Wednesday post up over at my blog too. :)

  10. Wow, congrats on the progress! You're totally beating me with revisions. LOL!

  11. Thanks for bringing up Nathan's List. It really helps. My post is up now.


  12. Violet - The other two you mentioned are also really good ones on the list!

    Jessica - Thanks! I really keep feeling like I am not moving forward at all, but I guess that although it is slow I still am making progress.

    Robin - Glad to share the list! I hope it helps you as much as it did me.

  13. Some weeks a little progress is what you get, and that's okay. I'm one of those weirdos that likes the revision process. Rough drafts are the killers for me, and my muse and I got into a wrestling match. I broke it down on my WIP Wednesday post.

  14. Jaime - When I was writing my first draft I kept telling myself that I was also one of those weirdos that loved the revisions process, but now that I am in it I don't feel that way at all!

  15. I'm in the revision boat too! I write a bit about it here at Liz's Ink.

    As for Nathan's list, the one that really sounds alarms and worries me is this:
    Do you have enough conflict?
    My novel has two parallel stories going - one from the French Revolution and one in 2005 Paris. I'm still worried that the 2005 one is not conflicted enough. That's definitely one of my top priorities!

  16. Liz S. - Ooh, conflict is a big one - I can see how it would be extra difficult with the whole parallel storylines happening. Good luck!