Sunday, 21 February 2010

Revising on a deadline

It has to be said - I never expected to be working to a non-self-imposed revision deadline before even attempting to get anything published. But because attending the Festival of Writing in York this April includes two meetings with agents/editors who have read through a first chapter and synopsis beforehand, I need to get those together. And I now only have three weeks left to do so.

I've been using the How to Revise Your Novel course by Holly Lisle so far, and it's been incredibly useful in highlighting problems I would almost certainly not have noticed without it, but I'm going to have to wing it a bit from this point on. I don't have enough time to put Amulet through the rest of the course, so it's time to take everything I've learned so far and start figuring out how best to use it to ensure that my first chapter is gripping and my synopsis is accurate.

There are a lot of changes that I know need to be made to strengthen the story. By necessity, I need to figure out all the intricacies of my new plot now, so that I can get my synopsis sorted. Then I need to get on with tidying up and rewriting that first scene, before working through the rest of the story. It's far from ideal and obviously if this were for a traditional query I'd be holding off on sending anything out until the story were as ready as I could make it, but under the circumstances... Well, I can't afford to miss out on the opportunity for professional feedback.

Today I've made some decent progress, writing out the scene by scene synopsis of the manuscript as it currently stands and then marking in broad strokes what needs to be kept and what needs to be cut. But there's a long way to go. So I'd better get started.

Friday, 12 February 2010

My writing space

Quite some time ago - approximately eight months ago in fact, when I first moved into this house - I promised the Wiffers some photos of my writing room. And since I am way behind in my blogging and currently trying to make my way through the rather messy world of my revisions on Amulet, this seemed like a good time to make good on my word. Well, better late than never, right?

So, here we go.

My whiteboard is on the left, with the collage for Amulet taking up most of the space. While I was working on the first draft of The Bonded, that collage was up instead. I use the part below the collage for random notes, key quotes, and change it whenever something better or more relevant comes along. On the right I keep track of my goals.

Then there's the desk, as you can see. When I'm writing, the laptop's in pride of place. Since I'm editing at the moment, there's revision notes, pens, index cards, and usually the lever arch file containing the manuscript.

And there's the view from my desk, looking out onto the park. I got lucky there.

The rest of the room consists of two bookcases, a filing cabinet and my craft drawers. And that's it really.

I like it. I'm not really at home often enough to take full advantage, of course, but when I am, it makes a pretty good writing space.

What about you? Where do you like to write?