During stressful rewrites, candy helps, but there’s so much other real help out there for writers going into or through the revision process.
FUN AND REVISION? ABSOLUTELY.
I stumbled on Shannon O’Donnell’s post about how to make the job of revision fun. Some of you have read her post, but for those who haven’t, take a look when you’re ready to throw that manuscript across the room. Have a laugh, maybe do something joyous like turn a somersault, and then go back to work.
Nathan Bransford has posted a wonderful Revision Checklist. I love checklists, especially if I don’t have to create them. Thank you, Nathan.
ABOUT THOSE “DARLINGS
One of the best guidelines for helping you cut your “darlings” is from Cheryl Klein. I enjoy reading this every time I’m in that situation which is a lot! Here’s what she writes.
CHERYL SAYS, “It is perfectly okay to be upset about cutting things. If you receive an edit and think, ‘No! Mr. Fluffy has to stay!’ sit down and think why you feel this way. Is it because you really Mr. Fluffy as a character? Because you see him as serving an important function in the novel? Or because you spent five hours writing that scene with him? If it’s important to you for a writing reason, look at why your editor suggests dropping him. Is there a way to solve the problem and yet keep him in the book? But if it’s only important to you for personal reasons–like the five hours you spent on that scene–then you sigh and cut it with no kicking or screaming.
Here’s my favorite part and I’ve found it helps when I do take the knife to Mr. Fluffy.
CHERYL SAYS, “And really, if you hate cutting that one line or plot development because it’s so perfect and you spent so much time on it, remember: It’s just disappearing from this work. It’s not disappearing from the world. YOU CAN USE IT AGAIN SOMEWHERE ELSE.”