Before I head into the ring again to wrestle my WIP in revision into shape, I had to have a meeting with myself to determine just how nuts I’d go with my wrestling technique. I’ve been banging this WIP’s plot hard, punching holes into the plot, taping wounds in the words and sending out 911 distress calls for medical intervention via contests, workshops, brainstorming, and CP/beta reader feedback.
The WIP lies on the desk, a pile of 250 printed out pages in a crooked, yet ordered 1-250, jumble. On top of it I’ve stacked the current short story sketch, two newspapers with articles about tornadoes, contest feedback with useful and constructive criticism and the original GMC charts I planned a year ago.
In front of me, on the wall above my laptop and desk, are about a dozen Post-it notes with little jottings about the book. They include tidbits about ongoing word counts, reminders about what I want to read and do for my writing, a workshop class list that I am moderating (in HOT pink), the Twelve Stages of Intimacy, a few agencies I plan to query (in BLUE — no reason why) and my RWA membership number. I also have another workshop’s lessons about achieving believable romantic resolution taped to the wall.
Surrounding my desk, on the walls and door of my closet and in my bookshelves are my 3rd Revision’s story poster board with notes on it in ball point to show the new changes I plan to implement, other craft books, mounds of paper ready for the printer and my collage that I created while brainstorming the first draft of this book (over a year ago!).
In my computer, under the book’s title, I have a bunch of files containing all the drafts, in WORD and SCRIVENER. I have my contest results (the ones that are helpful), my CP’s comments, and my character interviews.
Sigh. The visual clutter is making my mind rebel.
Here are the results of the meeting with myself:
1) I’m not ready to straighten out this mess within my mind. Oh, I’ve got dozens of ideas and my story is semi plotted again. But I’m not ready to plow into the pile of papers on my desk and make it all work.
2) I will be ready to straighten out this mess by the end of the week. My butt is in the fire. I entered the MAGGIE with this story. I have to find a way to carve out 30 decent pages of writing and a new synopsis reflecting my story’s evolving plot. I’ve got to do it by June 1.
3) I’ve determined that this is my final lob of the revision ball. After I enter the MAGGIE with what I put together, I will focus and keep on revising till the end of June.
4) During the first part of July, I’m pulling together my pitch for Nationals and the M&M Conference.
5) But will I continue to revise this book after July 1? Yes, but only AFTER I GET A REQUEST. If I don’t get a request, what is the point? I need to take what I’ve learned and apply it to the next book.
6) It’s time to Keep It Simple Silly. It’s time to focus on what I can fix, not worry about rewriting the entire plot again, and toss the book out there to see if there is any interest in it by people who will represent me or pay me to fix it.
If I stay mired in this book, I’ll be writing four books and only have one to show for it. Not going to work. Not anymore. I got to finish it to the best of my ability, but I don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. This summer I need to move on so I can write the book that MIGHT be the one that gets my foot in the door.
I’m keeping it simple so I can free myself for the next idea and the next book.