Recently I participated in Meg Miller’s week-long challenge called ReviMo. In this challenge, the goal is to take a picture book draft that you’ve been meaning to revise and do it. Each day there was an email by a different published author sharing some revision techniques. To start us off, Meg also sent out a poster with a list of revision suggestions.
I did awesome! It was the push I needed to do some deep revision work on a story I’ve only been able to bring myself to minimally revise for about two years. This story is one that is so close to my heart and I was worried if I changed it, I’d lose some of its magic. But I kept getting the same feedback about its flaws. Even given that, I just didn’t want to face making changes.
However, I made a goal for 2015 to do more revisions on my stories – all part of my bigger goal to get down and dirty and more serious about my craft. So I took the incentive of ReviMo week, picked a couple of the revision suggestions, and hacked my story. I mainly focused on these ReviMo revision suggestions:
- Re-read critiques of your story
- Start your story at a different point
- Make a dummy
- Print your story, carry it around with you, and cross out extra words all day
- Develop your main character
- Cut out all “to be” verbs (are, were, is, etc)
In the end, I was pleased (and a little surprised, I must admit) to find I really still like my story, there’s still magic, and I think it is better. Plus I got my story down to 583 words – around 600 is the current sweet number. Considering that at its longest two years ago it was 1700 words, my revisions involved some pretty major changes (and work).
I’m up next month to submit in my critique group. I’m super excited and nervous to see what feedback I get on this story now… Regardless though, I’m really happy with my revision work this month.
With all the motivation (and success) of this ReviMo, I am excited to continue it. My will power is not always so strong with revision but Meg provides a little push every so often with a Petite ReviMo. The first one is February 15th and will be featuring guest blogger Jen Swanson. There’s even a prize of a book critique on offer for participating (Oooo!).
So the plan is to revise a story a month in 2015. I have the goal, I have help with motivation, now all that’s left is to see how my will power holds up:)