WWK Blogger Paula Gail Benson has two short stories running in Kings River Life Magazine this weekend, "Pelican Spring" and "The Mama Factor." Both are Mother's Day short stories. You can read them by going to: http://kingsriverlife.com/category/kings-river-reviewers/terrific-tales/
Linda Rodriguez is a finalist in two categories for the International Latino Book Awards (given out at BEA the end of May)--one for Every Last Secret and one for editing Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (with Gloria Vando, Anika Paris, and Anita Velez-Mitchell). Congratulations, Linda!
The second SinC Guppy anthology, Fish Nets, has been released by Wildside Press. WWK authors, Gloria Alden, Warren Bull, Kara Cerise and E. B. Davis have short stories in this volume, which can be bought at Wildside Press, the usual retailers and will be available at the Malice Domestic Conference. Look for "the story behind the stories" on May 1 here!
Upcoming Salad Bowl Saturdays include authors Sasscer Hill on 5/18 and Carolyn Mulford on 5/25. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send a message to Jim Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Trudging Through Revisions
I've grown very frustrated with the amount of time it's taking me to get through this round of revisions on my current WIP. It took me less than a year to write the first version of the story, and yet it's taken me over two years to get through the revisions; this round of them taking the largest chunk of that time.
Granted, there have been other things that have cropped up in my life that have added distractions I didn't have when I wrote the original. I've become engaged, and spent much of last year planning the wedding. I was invited to take part in a gallery showcase of photos taken around Alameda (where I live). And then there have been the trials and joys that come with daily life. But those aren't even the real issues keeping me from finishing this round of revisions.
The biggest problem is that I have to rewrite much of the story, which is making it very hard for me to keep my mind focused on where I'm going with it.
I recently got a copy of Scrivener and broke my book down into separate scenes within the software, thinking that would help make the revision process easier and quicker, but I'm beginning to feel that's not the case. I need to add a few scenes to make the story less procedural and give it more red herrings, so that readers won't know who the villain is halfway through the book (a suggestion that a critique partner gave me last year). Hers was a valid point, which is why I've been making the changes, but that also means that there are so many scenes I now have to decide whether to keep, revise, or simply toss.
Since this is the first full-length book I've ever finished, there's much I don't want to toss; this is my baby. And while I have no illusions that it's Pulitzer material, I'm quite proud of it. However, I also realize that there aren't many writers whose first attempts are free from tossable scenes. Heck, I'm sure Stephen King still tosses things out here and there. That's why some people have said we're not "writers," we're "revisers."
I've also heard of many writers who simply put their first attempt in a drawer somewhere and start on story #2, which usually winds up being much better. Maybe that's what I should do with this one. Part of me doesn't want to, but I'm feeling so stuck here in the mire that is Revision Land, that I am starting to wonder whether it would be the better choice. But I also don't want to give up on anything. Even if this book never makes it to the publication stage, I don't want to leave it sitting in some folder, unfinished. That just seems so disheartening.
So I'm asking for your guidance, dear readers. When is it time to throw in the towel? Is there a moment when you just KNOW that it's time to put the book away until some future version of you can come back to it and turn it into a masterpiece? Or should I keep trudging through until I've made all the necessary revisions?
Posted by Alyx Morgan at 12:00 AM