Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Revising Is Like...

...Pulling out your teeth, rearranging them and then putting them back in your mouth, hopefully in a better position than they were in before. If they fit. The ones that don't? Well, you just toss those ones down the disposal and turn it on, of course.

And you know, that hurts.

Good thing I like gum pain.

My Revising Toolkit:
1. Pandora
2. Pens (okay, I use markers. pink markers) and a printed copy of my MS
3. Ginger ale and bubblicious
4. Farmville and CafeWorld

What's revising like for you? What's in your toolkit?


Scott said...

Gee, thanks for that visual . . . and picture . . . first thing in the morning!

Revising Toolkit:
1) Itunes and/or Napster
2) I've gone green, so the highlight tool in Word.
3) Coffee, Diet Coke, Wine - depending on the time of day.
4) Bejeweled Blitz, Scrabble, Yahtzee, walks with the dogs, nap on the couch with the cat, chips and peach/mango salsa - in those moments when I need a break.


Unknown said...

I'm with Scott. So didn't need that visual. lol!

Plus, I kind of like revising... It's exciting to me to see something become better than it was. I know. I'm such a nerd.

Aaron Polson said...

I love revising. I'm sick like that. (call it 10+ years of scoring student papers...)

My kit?

Green pens and a hardcopy of the manuscript. That's it. I read aloud to catch the flow of the language.

Paul Greci said...

I guess it depends what stage I'm in. If I'm in a print-it-out stage I usually have a green pen and a pack of sticky notes. And, more often than not, I'll read it outloud.

I like revising, rewriting, too.

Unknown said...

Chocolate - but I wish Bubblicious would do it for me as it has far fewer calories. Also, caffeinated beverages are a necessity. I'm sitting down with the printed-out ms again tonight, so I'll be doing the sticky note thing. I'm still liking the revision process but I'm getting antsy - I spent an hour polishing my query last night (the one I've already revised ten times):)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm yanking teeth currently.

My printed MS
A funky purple pen
Orange and yellow highlighters
Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel
Drink of choice (nonalcoholic helps the revision process not go astray).

Fun post.
~ Wendy

PJ Hoover said...

You are seriously making my teeth hurt. Yikes!

Coffee (daytime)
Chocolate (nighttime)
Lots and lots of patience.

Anonymous said...

I probably don't revise enpough, so I don't have a toolkit.

L. T. Host said...

My laptop. And a quiet room.

Jamie D. said...

Wait, so I can claim FarmTown & Cafe World as "tools" for revisions? That is so cool...who knew? ;-)

1st pass revision requires a hard copy for me, so:

1. Hard copy of my manuscript
2. Two different colors of pen (one for major revisions, one for copy edits)
3. A notepad for...uh...making notes.
4. Something to drink (tea, water, pop)

Danyelle L. said...

I love your toolkit!

My Revision Toolkit:

1. Peace and Quiet™
2. The Internet
3. The Manuscript and a colored pen
4. A jar to keep my sanity in

C. N. Nevets said...

Revising is like being done with a carpentry project and then going back to redo some things, sand the edges, clean up the joints, stain and varnish. It's taking something I've worked hard at and am proud of and then making it better and presentable.

I do a ton of my revising as I go. I'm a constant re-readers and tweaker. That said, there does reach a point where I do a formal revision and then my kit is...

1) Hardcopy.
2) Pen.
3) Music.
4) Mug of coffee or tea.

I don't do much writing without a hot beverage in my hand. I think it's because when I wrote my first, 24 page novel as a 13 year-old I was drinking ginger twist tea out of a mug I still own. The power of memory associations is amazing.

Rebecca Knight said...

Wow, I'm amazed how many people do this on a hardcopy! Fascinating :).

My toolkit includes:

1) My trusty laptop
2) Cat trying to sit in front of laptop on my chest.
3) White wine
4) Reality tv on in the background for company.

LOVE the analogy, Elana ;)!

Anonymous said...

Pens are a definite. I also like the highlight feature in my word program.

Carolyn V. said...

My professor made me revise my final research paper. It took me two weeks and a box of tissue for the tears. Tissue and chocolate, they'd be in my kit.

Tara McClendon said...

I'm in the read it aloud group. My toolkit contains:

1. Lots of positive reinforcement from my support group.
2. Anit-inner-critic spray.
3. Find and Replace.

Christina Farley said...

Oh! Those teeth make me shiver. My tool kit? Chocolate and coffee and more chocolate. :)

Katie Salidas said...

Caffeine and good music are two must haves for editing.

Teri said...

I too love a printed copy and colored pens. Green is my choice, sort of the anti-red. I would die if I didn't have some Diet Dr. Pepper on hand.

I love the teeth. A very vivid, and accurate metaphor!

Unknown said...

My revising toolkit includes:
1. alternating between cups of ice and cups of tea
2. a closed door room
3. my laptop and a hard copy of my ms
4. pencils & highlighters
5. dictionary & thesaurus
6. Farmville for a few minutes of distraction

storyqueen said...

The teeth analogy is too true.

Tool kit:

1. an Indiana Jones whip
2. a lightsaber
3. no alcohol whatsoever
4. Einstein's brain
5. Some really patient saint's patience.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes!! Nice photo :)

Revising toolkit:
Earl Grey tea or hot chocolate if it's a tough one
Chocolate or salty snacks :)

Katie Anderson said...


I use the Sting channel on Pandora. aahhhh

and iced tea.

Hardygirl said...

Farmville is a mystery to me, too, Katie. I see it on facebook sometimes, but I have no idea what it means.

Big wooly socks.
NO distractions. NONE. (okay, so this is in my fantasy world)


Jennifer said...

Revising is like smashing my innards with a sledgehammer, hoping that I didn't kill anything important, and then putting them all back together, maybe not in the order that they were before, but in such a way that they all still work--hopefully better than they did before.

My revising toolkit:

1. Colored Sharpie pens and the printed MS, one chapter at a time.
2. A quiet room.
3. A (cushioned)wall to beat my head against. ;)

Christine Fonseca said...

yeah...living in revision nightmare land at the moment...tool kit, you need a tool kit...maybe that is why this is so hard!

lisa and laura said...

Diet Coke
Ice Cream
Phone (to call Laura and weep)

Gail said...

My Revisions Tool Kit:

1. MS on the computer
2. Quiet place so I can read it aloud.
3.Towel under the chair to catch all the hair I pull out.
4. Tube of superglue to glue the hair back on my head

ali cross said...

Hahaha. Yep, revising IS like that, isn't it? Owie.

My revising toolkit? Hmm, I think it's pretty much the same as my writing one.

1. Pandora. 2. Headphones 3. What was three? can't remember ... but this time, I'm good with my MS being on the computer. OH! but there is a fourth one. 4. CANDY. Lots and lots of candy. Preferably chocolate. Because, as you said, revising is painful. Makes me sweat :)

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who does this on paper. I'm quite surprised by the number of you who do this in silence. How do you stay sane?? I mean, seriously.

A quiet room? I don't even know what to do with that. I have Pandora on right now, just to check blog comments and harvest my peas. (That's the Farmville coming out. Katie and SF, it is awesome. You have this farm. And you can plant stuff and harvest wool from sheep and stuff. It is awesome. Have you ever played Sim games? Like that. I'm a huge video game fanatic.)

Ahem. I digress. Such great things in the toolkits! I noticed we all have something to drink. Usually a snack. Funky pens.

Ahhh, I love writers. :)

Sherrie Petersen said...

Oh, man, that picture is HIDEOUS!! And yet I can't stop looking at it...

I enjoy revising. I definitely need it printed out. I use markers and pencil (good ol' #2), coffee or tea, and sweats or pajamas. Oh, and Word Twist on Facebook. When I get stuck it helps unlock my brain. Or maybe it's just my favorite way to procrastinate :)

Tabitha Bird said...

so that's my problem. I don't have a tool kit! I am off to rectify that situation immediately.

Jessica Nelson said...

I like editing. I usually go through Word first, then print it up and mark it up like that. LOL No other tools, except some chocolate by my side. :-)

Robyn Campbell said...

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Hmmm, I wonder why I start shaking not too far into my revisions for the day. :)

Also, I print out if I'm in the editing stage. Revisions and editing are two very different animals. Speaking of which, that mouth looks like my horses mouths. Cool. :)

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i logged about my revising ailments today :) brilliant minds think alike.

Rachael said...

To me revising is like an old puzzle. At first all the pieces are just rumbling around in the box and there's pieces of fuzz and puzzle pieces from a puzzle that you don't even remember buying anymore mixed in. Slowly you try to put all the pieces in the right order. Sometimes no matter how hard you try to make one fit, it just doesn't work and you have to take it out. But after a lot of hard work, some tears, and a couple sleepless nights, you finally get it all together.

I just need a Monster (writerly motivation), my laptop, and some music.

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